The investigation into the shooting of a local man on Tuesday night have led authorities to believe the injuries may have been self inflicted after the discovery of a witness and the firearm believed to be used in the case.
“Information has developed that has led us to believe the incident didn’t pan out as it was reported to us,” Village Police Chief Bruce Nason said.
Earlier today, investigators had found the .22 caliber rifle in the Saranac River they believe was used in the crime. Nason said a witness who had seen the victim prior to the incident has come forward with evidence that led police to the conclusion the gunshot wound may have been self inflicted.
At about 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 20, a person called 911 to report being shot. The victim, a 55-year-old man, was found on the train trestle near Pine Street and Broadway.
Nason said the victim had reported to police that he had left his apartment, was on his way to Main Street and was walking on the tracks, when he encountered two men on the trestle.
Nason said the victim recounted the two suspects called to him by name when they met and a conversation ensued for a few minutes before one of the suspects pulled out a gun and demanded the victim give him what money he had.
The victim reported he pushed the gun away and as he did, he was shot in the left shoulder area. After he was shot he said the suspects removed money from his pocket and left in an unknown direction.
The victim was taken to Adirondack Medical Center and then to Fletcher Allen in Burlington for surgery. Nason said the victim is reported to be in stable condition and the bullet appears to have missed any vital organs.
The victim described the suspects as two white males approximately 25-35 years of age who were wearing thin, dark-colored, parka-type jackets. Both were reported to be approximately 5-foot-8-inches tall and had a stocky build, and one was clean shaven with shaggy hair while the other had a fairly thick, full beard.
On Tuesday night into Wednesday morning Nason said nine officers, four State Police and five village officers canvassed the area knocking on doors around Pine Street, Main Street, and Bloomingdale.
If the gun shot wound was self inflicted, Nason said the victim could face multiple misdemeanor charges including falsely reporting an incident to police and falsely providing an account to police, Environmental Conservation laws which prohibit the discharge of a fire arm within 500 feet from a dwelling and village laws which prohibit the discharge of a fire arm within the village limits.
“We are continuing to investigate the incident and at this time we cannot say how the incident played out but the most important thing is for people to know we believe there is no danger to public,” Nason said.
The police are asking anyone that may have been in the area of the train trestle, or nearby streets, including Pine St., Bloomingdale Ave., Main St., Church St., or Forest Hill Ave. around 6:15 and 7 p.m. to contact the Saranac Lake Police Department at 891-4422.