DEKALB — One person has been charged with murder in the Tuesday morning shooting death of a north country man, and two others have been arrested as the homicide investigation continues.
The St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office has identified Justin A. Massey, 40, of Rossie, as the victim at 580 County Route 18, a village of Richville address in the southern portion of the town of DeKalb.
Sheriff’s deputies were initially called to the residence at about 2:30 a.m. for a burglary in progress, and upon arrival, found Mr. Massey “deceased with a gunshot to his body.”
John C. Anson, 29, a resident of the address, was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Charles M. Anson, 51, of Richville, was charged with tampering with physical evidence and three counts of reckless endangerment, both felonies. Kayla M. Briggs, 25, of DeKalb Junction, was also charged with tampering with physical evidence.
John Anson was remanded to St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, without bail. Charles Anson was held pending arraignment, then released under probation supervision. Ms. Briggs was released on an appearance ticket.
More than 16 hours after the incident, law enforcement agencies were still processing the scene.
Situated parallel to Route 11, nearly equidistant from DeKalb, Richville and Hermon, the property was home to several residents, according to neighbor Jessica A. Keefer, who lives two houses east with her husband and five children.
Mrs. Keefer said she was home sleeping Tuesday morning and didn’t hear anything when her cat awoke her to be let outside at about 3 a.m. By 8 a.m., Mrs. Keefer said, the flashing lights of additional police vehicles were at her neighbors’ driveway.
“It’s not unusual for the cops to be over there,” she said, adding that she didn’t think much of the police presence at what she described as a known “drug den.”
When she noticed yellow tape later in the morning, she knew something had happened.
“The day was very hectic, very frightening,” she said.
Mrs. Keefer’s husband has been out of town in Rochester for work, and was on his way home Tuesday evening. She sent her five kids, who range in age from 5 to 15, to school, though they were “terrified” to get on the bus.
When they stepped off the bus, she ushered them inside, locked her doors, and kept them occupied.
The Keefers have lived on County Route 18 for five years, but only in the last year, Mrs. Keefer said, have they noticed frequent issues with the neighbors.
Gunfire and visitors — who Mrs. Keefer said she suspects were drug-related — had become common issues.
One of her kids, she recalled, told her they saw a red, laser-like light shining through their window in the past year.
Mrs. Keefer said no police had been to her house, her camper or her shed. No one had stopped by to talk with her all day.
The St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment at the time of this report.
State police, state fire investigators, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the North Country Crime Analysis Center assisted.
Undersheriff Sean P. O’Brien said investigators do not think others were involved in the incident, though the investigation is ongoing.