New York State Police are investigating a deadly weekend shooting at a motel in Old Forge. A father mistakenly shot his son who was returning to the motel room.
Motel owner Dan Rivet says he was at home at the time of the incident. He's also a volunteer paramedic, so when he got the call, he says he quickly reacted.
"As a father of three I cannot imagine how he must feel having shot and killed his own son," explained Rivet.
It was supposed to be a fun and relaxing weekend. "They were here with a group of motorcyclists who belonged to a police motorcycle club. And they come here about every other year," said Rivet.
But, around one in the morning on July 21, police responded to Clark's Beach Motel. Officials say they got a call from a man who said he shot what he believed to be an intruder.
The investigation later revealed 59-year-old Michael Leach mistakenly shot his own son.
"The father had been sleeping and somehow he had awoken and had his service weapon in his room. Whether he had a flash back or what caused it he shot his son," said Rivet.
Dan says this incident at his motel is just a tragic accident. "We don't have violence here. Like I said some of the worst problems we have is bear getting in the garbage or an occasional domestic argument," stated Rivet.
Dan is heavily involved with the community. He says he's been a volunteer paramedic for 50 years and works for the Herkimer County Coroner's Office.
Dan says the last shooting he can recall was in the late 40s. "The other guys were sitting right outside the room. The son I believe went inside to go to the bathroom or go to bed. The shooters brother said he'd been in there fifteen minutes before the shooting. He was staying in another room," said Rivet.
Both the victim and father are from Rochester. Michael Leach is a police officer in Perry, New York, and a former Rochester police officer.
There's no word yet on whether leach will be charged with a crime.
The owner of the motel wants to stress that the area is safe and there's no underlying cause in this incident other than it was a tragic accident.