State Troopers Seek Information In Shooting Death Of Sag Harbor Man On Shinnecock Territory

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A Sag Harbor man who was found unresponsive on the Shinnecock Nation Territory Friday night and later died was the victim of a shooting, according to New York State Police, who are investigating the homicide.

With the investigation still in its earliest stages, by Tuesday evening police had determined the shooting took place where the victim, 43-year-old Ali Wisdom, was found. Police offered few details about the investigation.

Troopers were called to the territory on the night of Friday, November 5, at about 9:52 p.m., following reports of a man lying on Old Point Road, according to a release issued on Monday evening.

Responding officers found Wisdom and determined he had been shot. He was transported to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Wisdom, who was not a member of the Shinnecock Nation, had previous interactions with local law enforcement. He was accused of going to his cousin’s house on Hillside Drive West in Sag Harbor one night in February 2015. There, he brandished a gun, pointed at the victim’s head, and demanded money, authorities said at the time. Thwarted, he fired several rounds into a television. As the victim escaped, Wisdom fired another shot out the window. He apparently left the country following the shooting.

Wisdom was apprehended trying to get back into the United States from Mexico almost a month later. Suffolk County’s fugitive squad traveled to San Diego to collect Wisdom, who was met at the airport in Queens by Sag Harbor Village Police.

Charged with four separate felonies, he spent time in prison for the offenses. Authorities said they learned of his return locally last month.

His family released a statement on Tuesday night: “Ali Wisdom paid his debt to society and came home to Sag Harbor to spend time with his loving family, rebuilding his life and looking forward to a promising music and art career. His family and community are deeply saddened that he did not have the opportunity [to] pursue his dreams and continue as a productive member of society.”

Wisdom was planning to release a new album, Broadway, under the Columbo The Shining Star label. The family said they are praying for justice and plan to complete his artistic work and set up a scholarship for students from areas impacted by racial and economic disparities in his name at his alma mater, Howard University.

Bryan Polite, chairman of the Shinnecock Council of Trustees offered a statement late Tuesday afternoon. “The Council of Trustees are taking this matter very seriously,” he said. “We’ve been in contact with the New York State Police and defer all questions regarding the investigation to the New York State Police.”

Old Point Road runs south along the eastern side of the peninsula that the territory lies on. According to former tribal chairman Lance Gumbs, Wisdom’s body was found about three quarters of the way down Old Point Road.

“Nobody knows what happened,” Gumbs said. “It’s a tragic thing.”

Gumbs said that while Wisdom was described as not a member of the Shinnecock Nation, he has family on the territory. “I’ve known him since he was a little boy,” he said. “He was friend to many people up here. He was not a stranger to the community.”

By Tuesday night, the tribe had met twice to discuss the tragedy, Gumbs reported. “We met to voice our condolences to the family and vented our frustration in the community because there are no answers. There is no ‘why?’”

“This young man didn’t deserve to die like that,” he said.

State Police are asking for anyone with information regarding the homicide to call 631-756-3300 or Suffolk County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS. Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest.

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