Police Probe ‘Scuffle’ That Left Man Dead
SINCLAIRVILLE — Police say an 18-year-old Cassadaga man died after he was shot in the lower back during a “scuffle” Tuesday evening.
The man, whose name has not yet been released, was pronounced dead at UPMC Chautauqua; the shooting incident was being treated as a homicide.
Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone said the man was among six people in the area of Reed and Park streets in Sinclairville around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when the incident occurred. It wasn’t clear what led to the altercation, but at some point the victim was struck in the back with a single gunshot.
After being shot, Quattrone said the victim got into a truck and drove for about a quarter-mile before the vehicle left the road and struck some trees. The vehicle did not sustain much damage.
Quattrone said it was not apparent at first that the victim had been shot, leading to some initial confusion as to what caused the man’s injuries.
“At this time we do believe that the gunshot wound may have caused his death but we’ll wait for the autopsy results,” the sheriff said.
The 18-year-old was with another person at the time of the shooting. The scuffle included four other individuals, described by Quattrone as “persons of interest.” The individuals have been interviewed, but no charges have been announced.
In a news release and later stressed by the sheriff, investigators stated that the shooting was not a random act.
No weapon had been recovered.
Several police vehicles, some unmarked, could be seen in Sinclairville Wednesday. Quattrone said K-9 units from other agencies were assisting county investigators in searching for evidence.