SETAUKET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The upscale Long Island community of Setauket was on edge Wednesday night, as police searched for a killer on the loose.
As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the gunman allegedly targeted two men as they finished dinner, killing a beloved equestrian with a shot through the window.
Ross Reisner, 50, was shot in the chest around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday at his home on Upper Sheep Pasture Road in Setauket, police said. He was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Neighbors in the quiet North Shore enclave said they had never heard gunshots before, until seven or eight blasts rang out and shattered everyone’s evening routine.
Michelle O’Toole and her family ran to the side yard.
“I did hear a male voice screaming, ‘Oh God, help him. Please help me. Help him,’” O’Toole said.
A 911 call brought police to the home within minutes. Inside the kitchen, Reisner and his longtime partner were both bleeding.
Reisner’s partner suffered a graze wound to the arm. But Reisner himself, an accomplished equestrian, died of a bullet wound to the chest.
“These victims appear to have been targeted,” said Suffolk County police Detective Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick. “The gunfire did not come through the front windows of the home, but the shooter clearly stood in the yard and fired through one of the windows from the yard.”
The suspect apparently spotted the victims through the window before shooting, Fitzpatrick said the murder was not random, and the community is not in danger.
Still, everyone appeared deeply shaken, as violence is extremely rare in the area.
“it is absolutely devastating to me as an individual,” said neighbor Martin Tannen.
Tannen’s gentle neighbor was a professional horse trainer as well as a rider. He appeared for decades at the Hampton Classic Horse Show.
“Ross was a real fixture here at the Hampton Classic — a big figure in the Long Island horse community,” said Shanette Cohen of the horse show. “And it is a real tragedy and a loss, and it is very sad for the entire equestrian community.”
Reisner’s business partner told CBS 2 they had just opened a riding club at a horse farm in Mattituck, where they trained champions.
“He loved to teach and loved to ride,” Reisner’s business partner Bobby Ginsberg said. “He’s a very likeable person. It’s just unbelievable to me that anyone would harm him.”
Police would not discuss whether business, romance or revenge could have been motivating factors. But they may be searching for a killer who knew both men.
Police said the shooter fled on foot, and were hoping witnesses would come forward.
Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
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