SARANAC LAKE Village and state police are searching for two suspects involved in a reported shooting on the railroad tracks off of Pine Street this evening.
Police Chief Bruce Nason told the Enterprise that a male victim called 911 to report that he had been shot by another person on the railroad trestle between Broadway and Pine Street around 7 p.m.
"As it's been reported to us, he was walking in one direction, and two people were on the bridge on the opposite side walking in the other direction," Nason said. "They had a brief conversation before one of them pulled a gun on him."
Nason said the victim, whose in his mid-40s or mid-50s, was shot in the shoulder with what he described as a small-caliber rifle, possibly a .22. The two suspects then fled on foot, and the victim called 911 via cell phone, Nason said.
"(The victim) was in the area where he was shot when our police officers arrived," Nason said. "He wasn't certain which direction they ran. When he got shot, he spun around and fell down."
Nason said the victim was taken to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake with what the police chief initially described as a "wound." Nason later received confirmation from the hospital that the injury was "consistent with a gunshot wound." The chief said he didn't know what condition the victim was in but said the bullet didn't hit any vital organs and that the injury was not considered life threatening.
The motive for the shooting is still unclear. Nason said he couldn't release any more information about what happened on the trestle at this point.
Police were still looking for the two suspects, including the alleged shooter, as of 9:30 p.m. The victim described them as two white males, both roughly 5 feet, 9 inches tall with stocky builds and wearing dark jackets, possibly parkas, the chief said.
Nason said police officers were going door to door, interviewing residents in the area to see if they may have seen anything. A half-dozen village and state police vehicles were parked along the north side of Main Street, near the intersection with Pine Street, around 9 p.m. Nason said as many as eight police officers, including village and state police, were involved in the manhunt.
"As of yet, nobody we've talked to has seen or heard anything," Nason said. "I'd encourage anybody in public who may have seen or heard anything around 7 o'clock at night from Main Street to Pine Street and all the way to Bloomingdale Avenue, if they saw anybody walking in the area or anything suspicious, to please call us."
Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation was asked to call the village police department at 518-891-4422.
The alleged shooting happened just down the railroad tracks from where a Saranac Lake girl reported to police on Nov. 2, 2011, that she had been attacked by someone wielding a knife. Police later determined the girl - who had cuts to her face, hand and leg - had made the story up and caused the injuries to herself.
Asked if today's shooting in any way reminded him of that incident, Nason said, "That thought did go through my mind, but until we can determine otherwise, his story has been consistent. It hasn't changed."
Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.