By DENISE RICHARDSON
COOPERSTOWN _ The story of one teen shooting another in Cooperstown has drawn media attention from beyond the rural boundaries of Otsego County.
The incident has been reported regionally by the Utica Observer-Dispatch, statewide by various television stations and nationally through The Associated Press and The New York Times.
On Friday, Anthony Pacherille allegedly shot Wesley Lippitt, who was seeking refuge in the village police station across the street from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, then shot himself in the chin. Lippitt was treated for a wound to his upper left arm, and Pacherille remained hospitalized at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown on Tuesday.
Authorities are investigating to determine if the incident was racially motivated because Pacherille is white and Lippitt is black.
The Cooperstown police chief referred questions about the incident to the Otsego County district attorney.
But former Mayor Carol Waller was quick to defend her village.
``I don't know of any bigotry,'' she said.
Plans had been set for village officials to have a media conference Monday afternoon. But at 12:01 p.m., Waller said she was no longer mayor and the newly sworn-in mayor canceled the conference.
However, a New York Times reporter from New York City expected the media conference, Waller said, so she and Republican Mayor Joseph Booan Jr. met with the writer. They didn't talk about the case but did talk about ``how wonderful Cooperstown is and how shocked'' the community is, Waller said, noting that she said she believes in talking to the media.
``They assume more if you don't talk to them,'' Waller said.
The incident of teenage violence is painful and challenging for Cooperstown, said Maggie Barnes of MB Communications in Oneonta, but the national spotlight on the village will dim unless the story deepens.
``By the grace of God, no one died in Cooperstown,'' said Barnes, who teaches media relations at state universities in Oneonta and Delhi.
Cooperstown isn't accustomed to a spotlight that isn't highlighting baseball, cultural activities, natural beauty or other positive events, Barnes said Tuesday. Local media will hold its focus on the village as the incident passes through the court system, Barnes said, but the national media already is reporting on other news, she said.
On Tuesday afternoon, no media vehicles or out-of-town reporters could be found in the village by government offices or the high school.
Waller said Monday that reporter A.G. Sulzberger met with her and some other residents for a drink, but declined a dinner invitation, after his story was filed for The New York Times.
``He had a diet Coke,'' Waller said during an interview at her business, Mohican Flowers.
The Rev. John Rosson "" priest at St. Mary's Our Lady of the Lake Church in Cooperstown "" neighbors and friends also were present at The Pit restaurant and tavern in the Tunicliff Inn.
Waller said Sulzberger had commented that he was on an expense account and asked about less-costly lodging than the Holiday Inn, and she referred him to a bed and breakfast operated by friends.
But Sulzberger said he had broken a date with a new girlfriend for the Cooperstown assignment, and he wanted to make amends, Waller said, and the reporter left Monday night.
Waller said, with several laughs, that she didn't recognize the reporter's last name until she saw the byline Tuesday morning.
Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is chairman and publisher of The New York Times. His son, A.G. Sulzberger, joined the newspaper about a year ago, the New York Observer website reported.
Waller said she e-mailed A.G. Sulzberger compliments on his story.
``He wrote an accurate, true article based on the facts he was given,'' she said.
Waller said she wishes Sulzberger and other media were in Cooperstown for ``a happier reason,'' then expressed faith in the community to find physical and spiritual resolutions.
``We will sort this out,'' she said.