Investigation ongoing in fatal shooting
OLD FORGE — Law enforcers continue to investigate the fatal shooting in Herkimer County from early Saturday, when a 59-year-old police officer is accused of accidentally shooting his son while on vacation.
Authorities said Michael Leach, of Rochester, believed his son to be an intruder breaking into his motel room at the Clark Beach Motel at 12:51 a.m. Saturday.
Troopers said Leach shot the "intruder" with the .45-caliber Glock handgun that he was issued as a patrolman with the Village of Perry Police Department in Wyoming County.
Leach called 9-1-1 and told dispatchers that he believed he had shot an intruder — but then discovered he had shot and killed his own son, 37-year-old Matthew S. Leach, also of Rochester, troopers said.
Law enforcers and rescue personnel responded and the victim was transported to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica, where he was pronounced dead.
The father, Michael Leach, had been transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in New Hartford for his own medical problems, authorities stated.
Acting Herkimer County District Attorney Jeff Carpenter is investigating to determine if any charges will be filed. Calls to his office this morning were not immediately returned.
The Perry Police Department is composed of five full-time officers, nine part-time officers and a chief, according to its website.