Forestport Shooting Leaves Woman Dead; Community Reacts

Forestport Shooting Leaves Woman Dead; Community Reacts_-2204067448304284584

State police are investigating the Forestport shooting that left 45-year-old Stacey Utter dead yesterday afternoon. The investigation has revealed that 49-year-old Larry Utter called the police to report the shooting inside his home on Trestle Road. When officers arrived, they found Stacey Utter dead from an apparent gunshot wound. Larry Utter is being held for questioning regarding his involvement – but police have not yet said whether anyone will be charged in connection to the death.

The violent killing comes just one week after a double homicide in the city of Rome. Except this time, the crime happened in a town of just 1500 people. Residents say Forestport is a small, tight-knit community and they’ve never seen anything like this.

“It’s been a hard day and night for a lot of people and there’s a lot of people looking for answers to what happened,” says Andy Artessa, Forestport resident.

While State Police have not yet described the death as “suspicious,” some Forestport residents have their own ideas. They tell Eyewitness News they don’t want to speculate, but the death appears to be a case of domestic violence.

“I’m not gonna say its true or nothing, but I have heard he was having problems with his wife and I guess they were both fighting or something,” says Gary Emmerick, Forestport resident.

“Oh god if this is domestic violence related, this has to be looked at much more seriously. There needs to be more programs, stiffer penalties, easier paperwork to get a restraining order in the state of New York,” says Artessa.

Forensic teams have been walking in and out of the home and while no charges have been filed just yet, residents we spoke with say crimes like this don’t happen in their small community.

“When you live so far in the middle of nowhere, I would never expect something like this to happen especially only 1 minute from my house,” says Thomas Freeman, Forestport resident.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and I never seen anything like this murder and you hear all about shootings around the country and now you’re starting to wake up with it at your backdoor,” says Emmerick.

If this does turn out to be a case of domestic violence, it reinstates a question on the minds of many, what’s the reason behind the domestic homicides?

“The economy, people not working, no money, stress, not being able to pay your bills,” says Emmerick.

“I know the economy is difficult and times aren’t what they used to be but its hard to explain but people are just losing control,” says Artessa.

“A lot of that has to do with people wondering how they can survive and get by and sometimes it takes a toll on you,” says Emmerick.

We contacted State Police several times today, and they say there are no new updates.

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