CHELSEA — An employee of a Chelsea Home Depot threatened to shoot up the store with automatic weapons and specifically named the gunman who murdered a manager at the store earlier this year as his inspiration, according to police.
Police arrested Rafael Borbon, 31, on Dec. 19, a day after he allegedly told a coworker that he planned to attack the store at 40 W. 23rd St. with an AK-47 and a handgun, according to a criminal complaint.
Borbon told the woman that he “would like to leave how Calvin did,” referring to Calvin Esdaile, an employee who on Jan. 22 fatally shot his manager at the store before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.
He promised to wreak even more devastation than Esdaile, and spoke with his coworker multiple times about his desire to inflict carnage, police said.
“I thought about what we talked about before,” Borbon told her, according to a criminal complaint. “I'd like to do it. Except when I do it, they'll need more ambulances and more priests."
The woman, fearing for the safety of herself and her coworkers, alerted her boss, who notified police about the threats, officials said.
Esdaile, killed himself after shooting his manager, Moctar Sy, and leaving him mortally wounded in a store aisle, police said at the time. Responders rushed Sy to Bellevue Hospital, but he died about 45 minutes after Esdaile opened fire, officials said.
Police did not release information about Esdaile’s motive in the shooting.
“We take this sort of thing extremely seriously and act on any kind of threat,” said Stephen Holmes, a representative for Home Depot.
Prosecutors charged Borbon with two counts each of harassment and stalking. A judge released him without bail and issued a temporary order of protection, barring him from the store, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. He is due back in court on Jan. 21.
A lawyer for Borbon did not respond to a request for comment.
An earlier version of this story misstated the charges against Borbon.