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Services for Empire State Building Shooting Victim Scheduled This Week

By  Dan Rivoli and Trevor Kapp | August 27, 2012 8:04am 

NEW YORK CITY — Family and friends of Steven Ercolino will gather this week to mourn his death at the hands of a disgruntled ex-coworker.

A wake in White Plains will be held Monday and Tuesday at Ballard-Durand funeral home, and a memorial mass will be held Wednesday at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, followed by a cremation, according to the funeral home’s obituary.

The services are being held in White Plains, across the Hudson River from Ercolino’s hometown of Nanuet, the website shows.

"Steve was a friend, brother, and an inspiration to so many young men," Joseph Laudadio wrote on the funeral home's tribute wall on behalf of Ercolino's fraternity brothers, Beta Chi.

Ercolino's fiancee, Ivette Rivera, posted photos of herself and Ercolino sharing a tender kiss on her Facebook page Sunday.

Rivera is reportedly so distraught that relatives fear she might not be able to attend the services, they told the New York Post.

“She's destroyed ... She had found something that had changed her whole life for the better, and now it was taken away,” Rivera's brother Walter Rivera told the Post.

Ercolino, 41, was gunned down on a 33rd Street sidewalk near the Empire State Building Friday. The shooter, 58-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, was a former coworker of Ercolino’s at Hazan Imports who blamed him for his layoff last year.

Johnson shot Ercolino shortly after 9 a.m. Friday before getting into a gunbattle with police near the entrance of the Empire State Building that left him dead on the sidewalk.

The wake services will be held from 5 – 9 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday’s memorial mass will be held 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Ercolino will be cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery & Crematory in Hartsdale at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers who work in the Empire State Building tried to return to their regular routine Monday.

Many said they considered Friday’s tragic incident as an isolated outburst.

“I don't think some guy is going to come here with a [gun]” said Frank Decesar, a 24-year-old deliveryman who works on the block where Ercolino was killed. “You can't live your life in fear.''

Irina Newmark, 70, who works as a real-estate management secretary on 34th Street between Madison and 5th avenues, said life in the bustling swath of Midtown is back to normal.

“If something happens here, we cannot say where and when — just, let’s pray,” Newmark said.