Detective: No lead in shooting of Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius
HUNTINGTON - Police are reviewing surveillance tapes and have interviewed the owner of Oheka Castle, Gary Melius, after he was shot in the head by a masked gunman at the estate Monday afternoon.
Police say Melius, 69, was shot at around 12:30 p.m. in a courtyard at the castle in Huntington. Melius lives in the castle with his family.
Police say they believe three shots could have been fired during the shooting, one hitting Melius in the head. The lead detective on the case tells News 12 Melius is cooperating and did indicate that he did not know who the person was who shot him.
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A source close to the family tells News 12 Melius is in and out of alertness and has some swelling on the brain. However, Melius is in stable condition at North Shore-LIJ Hospital.
Friend and former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato tells News 12 that he had plans to meet with Melius for lunch when the shooting happened. D’Amato told News 12 Melius “is thankful for the grace of God that saved his life and is grateful for your prayers and good wishes."
In a statement, his daughter Nancy says her dad is "doing well and in good spirits.”
Police say a thorough search of the castle grounds and surrounding areas with aviation and K-9 units did not turn up the gunman.
There is no word yet on a possible motive.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Suffolk Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
Melius has helped bankroll the campaigns of both Republican and Democratic elected officials. He was also involved in a scandal last year that lead to the ouster of Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Dale.
His estate is a popular wedding venue and catering hall.
For extended Chopper 12 footage over Oheka Castle, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.