Police: Surveillance Tape Shows 2 Cars At Oheka Castle During Shooting, Owner Recovering
HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Surveillance video reveals new clues in the shooting of the owner of Long Island’s Oheka Castle.
As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, surveillance video shows a black sedan followed by a Jeep Cherokee pulling into a valet area outside of the Huntington estate on Monday afternoon.
The masked gunman is seen exiting the Jeep and firing the first shot into the driver’s side window of a Mercedes, striking castle owner Gary Melius. The weapon then appears to malfunction.
Police said at least three shots were fired before the shooter and the other vehicle flee the scene.
Sources told Newsday the second vehicle apparently served as the lookout. Neither vehicle appeared to have license plates, the sources told Newsday.
On Wednesday, police said they were searching for a “neutral-colored” SUV in connection with the attack.
Meantime, Melius continues his recovery from a bullet to forehead while police guard his hospital room as well as the main gate of his Gold Coast castle.
Melius, 69, underwent successful emergency surgery on Monday.
Police said the bullet did not penetrate Melius’ skull. They said he went into shock and could not recall details about the attack.
“If this near-death experience has done anything it is a reminder to live each day, celebrate life and embrace your family. I happen to be blessed with a very, very large extended family who rallied to my side during the past 24 hours,” Melius said in a statement Tuesday. “God bless you all.”
Detectives are looking into Melius’ personal and professional dealings.
“We don’t have a motive at this point, it’s part of the investigation,” Suffolk County Police Det. Sgt. John O’Sullivan said Tuesday. “There were no immediate eyewitnesses.”
Oheka Castle has become a celebrity wedding venue, hosting the nuptials of former Rep. Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin and Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, among others. It also hosts charity events.
The castle is also known as a hangout of power brokers of all political persuasions, including former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and current Rep. Peter King.
Melius is celebrated as a philanthropist and also has donated hundreds of thousands to politicians.
In recent years, Oheka has faced financial struggles.
After defaulting on a loan a year ago, Melius negotiated a mortgage modification in August, according to public records.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota visited Melius in the hospital Wednesday to update him on the investigation.
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