Andrew Cuomo Aide Shot In Head Before Brooklyn Parade

He was the "unintended target" of the shooting, according to NYPD.

YORK, Sept 7 (Reuters) - A top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was shot in the head and critically injured by a stray bullet during a spate of violence that erupted on Monday before the West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn, police said.

Carey Gabay, 43, the first deputy counsel at Empire State Development, the state's chief economic development agency, was struck by gunfire at 3:41 a.m. at 1680 Bedford Avenue, not far from the parade route.

"This tragic shooting - this one by another seemingly random bullet - is the latest heartbreaking reminder that the crime of gun violence must stop," said Cuomo, who oversaw passage of the state's sweeping gun control laws.

In a wave of pre-dawn violence that erupted in other parts of Brooklyn not far from the parade route, a 24-year-old man was stabbed to death at Eastern Parkway and Plaza Street East and a 21 year-old man was shot in his buttocks and injured, police said.

Gabay was rushed to Kings County hospital, where he was in critical condition, the governor said.

"Carey is an outstanding public servant who joined our administration in 2011," Cuomo said in a statement.

Gabay is a kind man who is a married Harvard-educated lawyer and wanted to "give back to others and make a difference," the governor said.

The shooting, in which police said he became the "unintended target," reportedly took place during the J'Ouvert march, a celebration which starts at 4 a.m. and precedes the annual West Indian Day parade, which has been plagued by violence in past years.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Nick Zieminski)