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February 3, 2014

Gilboa man charged in fatal shooting in Kingston

DEP building is site of incident that took life of Ulster County resident

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A 53-year-old Gilboa man, employed by the New York City agency that runs the Gilboa Dam and controls the New York City watershed, was charged with second-degree murder this afternoon in connection with the fatal shooting of a co-worker at the Departmental of Environmental Protection building in Kingston, authoriites said..
 
David N. Reese of 297 Flat Creek Road was arrested by Kingston Police after being questioned about the killing of Aron J. Thomas, of the Ulster Community of Olivebridge. The shooting took place just before 7 a.m. 
 
Reese has been employed by the agency for 16 years as an equipment mechanic, officials said. Thomas was employed at DEP for nearly 9 years as a watershed maintainer.
 
A source familiar with the probe said investigators are looking into the possibility that the killing was an act of revenge, but the underlying reason was not immediately clear.
 
Police investigators went to Reese's home and executed a search warrant. Officials said he has a valid pistol permit listing two handguns. 
 
Police said Reese and Thomas worked in the same area of the DEP building.  A handgun was found nearby the scene of the shooting, police said. A law enforcement source said it appeared Reese deliberately targeted Thomas and made no threats to other employees.. 
 
The DEP manages the Pepacton Reservoir, the Ashokan Reservoir, the Gilboa Dam and numerous other reservoirs that supply New York City with its drinking water.
 
Adam Bosch, a spokeswoman for DEP, told The Daily Star that all information related to the investigation would have to come from law enforcement authorities.
 
Watershed maintainers are charged with maintaining city facilities and the grounds around the reservoir and aqueducts, along with much of the infrastructure across the watershed.
 
Carter Strickland, the commissioner of DEP, said in a statement: "We are shocked and saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred early this morning at DEP’s offices in Kingston, N.Y. The thoughts and prayers of all DEP employees are with the victim’s family and loved ones. We will do all we can to support them in the days and months ahead. DEP is fully cooperating with local authorities in their ongoing investigation. Grief counselors will be made available to help DEP employees who have been affected by this tragedy.”
 
Prosecuting Reese is Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnwright.

 

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