Two killed in office shooting

Law enforcement respond to an active shooter situation at 145 Clinton St. in Watertown where two people were killed Wednesday. Kara Dry/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Jenn Bossuot wonders if she should have asked Barry K. Stewart about his day, coming after she spoke with the man just minutes before he walked into an office and shot two real estate brokers.

Over the phone, Ms. Bossuot, an appraiser out of Felts Mills, spoke with Stewart, the man who allegedly shot two real estate brokers inside their Clinton Street business at about 1:47 p.m. Wednesday, before taking his own life.

“He was short with me,” Ms. Bossuot said. “Usually he would tell me a stupid joke or funny story.”

The shooting was reported at 1:55 p.m., roughly eight minutes after they spoke. Stewart allegedly entered Bridgeview Real Estate Services at 145 Clinton St., Suite 111, and shot the two owners, Maxine M. Quigg, 50, of Wellesley Island, and Terence M. O’Brien, 53, of Black River, killing both and then leaving the office after less than a minute, according to city police. There was a third person in the office who was in a separate room and escaped safely.

Stewart drove about 95 miles before dying by a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a state trooper attempted to pull him over in the town of Dickinson in Franklin County.

Ms. Bossuot continues to wonder why Stewart answered her call. She was set to appraise a house in Carthage that Stewart had been listing. It’s somewhat of a courtesy for the selling agent to join the appraiser, but Stewart often did it so they wouldn’t have to be alone in the house. Still, she knew it wouldn’t have been a big deal if he didn’t show up.

On Wednesday, Ms. Bossuot said she was running late getting a prom dress for her daughter, so she called Stewart to reschedule. She wanted to meet between 4 and 5 p.m., so she called him at 1:47 p.m.

She first asked him to reschedule their meeting. He then told her, “OK, see you then,” according to Ms. Bossuot.

“He didn’t sound rushed,” she added. “I felt like he was pissed that I was rescheduling.”

She said she asked him for a phone number related to business, or said he could call them. She would call, though, if he was busy, she said.

“He never sent the number,” she said. “I figured I would remind him later and thought nothing of it.”

In hindsight, several unfair feelings run through her head, like should she have asked about his day or how he was doing? But their relationship was mainly professional, she said.

“It’s just so creepy that he talked to me,” she said. “I almost wish he didn’t answer the phone.”

After the shooting, she just kept thinking about how he didn’t sound upset in general, barring the rescheduling, which never elevated above an emotion higher than what’s common.

“He didn’t sound like he was working out at the gym,” she said. “It’s crazy and I just can’t believe it.”

Ms. Bossuot also knew Mr. O’Brien and Mrs. Quigg for years. Her son graduated with Mr. O’Brien’s son and they watched them grow up together.

“I’ve spent hours in the stands,” she said, “sitting with Terry watching games.”

She knew Mrs. Quigg as a firecracker.

“She was such a classy lady and gorgeous in every way,” Ms. Bossuot said, “and then she was just hilarious. She was always bright.

“It’s just such a loss,” she added.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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