Man shoots 80-year-old grandfather and himself to death in New York state

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. — A 24-year-old man fatally shot his 80-year-old grandfather and then killed himself Thursday, authorities said, prompting police to evacuate and close a New York state park for several hours while they searched for him.

Andrew Vahey, 24, died on a hiking trail in Letchworth State Park as officers closed in on a search that drew multiple law enforcement agencies along the Genesee River, Irondequoit Police Chief Scott Peters said at an evening news conference.

Vahey was wanted in the shooting death earlier in the day of his grandfather, Joseph Deponceau, whose body was found at his Irondequoit home by police responding to a 911 call, Peters said.

Vahey’s roommate told police he received text messages from Vahey “saying he had just killed his grandfather and was now going to kill himself,” Peters said.

Law enforcement officers spotted Vahey carrying a long gun in the park around 12:30 p.m. and attempted to make contact, but he immediately turned the gun on himself, the chief said.

He said Vahey and Deponceau had recently argued over property and that police were called to Deponceau’s home last week during a domestic dispute over parking on the grass.

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