WORCESTER, N.Y. (WUTR) — Five people have been charged in connection to the fatal shooting of a 53-year-old in Worcester; four suspects are teenagers.
New York State Police say two 15-year-olds, one 17-year-old and Nicolas Meridy, 32, face second-degree murder and first-degree burglary charges.
One additional teen is charged solely with first-degree burglary. NYSP did not share this person’s age.
“This was not a random attack. The victim was targeted. There’s no threat to public safety,” Scott Heggelke, Captain of the NYSP Troop C Bureau of Criminal Investigations, said.
During a Monday press conference, Heggelke said his team is “very confident” everyone at the crime scene is in custody.
Kenneth W. Robinson was found dead inside his Head Road home, Thursday Oct. 10, after police responded to a fire around 9:17 p.m.
“The trooper actually went in and pulled the subject out from inside the house because the house, again, was on fire and discovered that the subject was deceased. It was obvious that he was the apparent victim of gunshots.”SCOTT HEGGELKE, NYSP TROOP C BUREAU OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS CAPTAIN
Heggelke did not say where Robinson was shot on his body citing those details will come out at trial.
“We have recovered some firearms, but I’m not saying we have the gun that was used. There’s lots of testing on firearms,” Heggelke said.
During the press conference, Heggelke said the motive was identified as robbery; however, investigators are holding out to identify what the suspects were looking for until trial.
Police said two of Robinson’s children were inside the home at the time of the fire, which was intentionally set near a rear bedroom.
Heggelke said gunshots preceded the fire, and Robinson’s children made it out safe.
None of the suspects were said to have lived in Robinson’s home.
Three were taken into custody in Oneonta–an approx. 30-mile drive south of the crime scene–and two suspects were apprehended in Downsville (over one hour away.)
Police shared there is a familial relationship between Robinson and at least one suspect.
Two teens are being held in a Syracuse facility, and the others in a Buffalo facility.
Meridy is booked at the Otsego County Jail.