TUPPER LAKE — Gunfire outside a village hardware store and storage garage was reported Thursday afternoon, and one suspect was taken into police custody.
Police response to a report of shots fired was heard on radio frequency covering the Tupper Lake area shortly before 2:30 p.m. By 3 p.m., officers reported a person was in custody.
Tupper Lake Police Chief Eric T. Proulx had not responded to a request for comment at the time of this report, but Maurice L. Fortune said he was in his store office when shots were fired at the building and from inside his storage space across the street.
Owner of Fortunes True Value Hardware, 66 Main St., Mr. Fortune said he did not hear all the shots — he added that investigators said they identified evidence of nine shots in the area — though he heard a store shelf fall, later learning one of the shots had entered the sales floor and struck the shelf.
Officers determined the man had fired four shots from inside the storage garage, according to Mr. Fortune, who shared a photo of a window into the garage space. Partially shattered glass borders four holes in the window.
“I was never really scared because I didn’t fully understand the situation,” Mr. Fortune said.
Mr. Fortune recalled the man now in custody entered the store after firing his weapon, leaving it in the store foyer before briefly speaking with Mr. Fortune.
Not yet realizing shots had been fired by the man, Mr. Fortune said, he asked the man if he needed help finding any merchandise.
“And he said, ‘People are after me,’” Mr. Fortune said, adding that the man appeared to be in a “drug-induced paranoia.”
After saying he was “in a bad situation,” the man asked to leave the store through the back door, according to Mr. Fortune. When the man reclaimed the firearm from the foyer and left through the back door, Mr. Fortune knew he needed to call the police. A neighbor who had heard the shots earlier, he said, had already called law enforcement.
“No one was hurt, thank God,” Mr. Fortune said. “Couple holes in my building, but nothing terrible.”