BY MICHELLE MILLER AND JIM AUSTIN
THE COOPERSTOWN CRIER
Village residents are expressing shock about Friday’s shooting incident and are eager to reach an understanding of why it happened in a small, close-knit community like Cooperstown.
A violent dispute left two 16-yearold boys recovering from gunshot wounds that occurred on Good Friday. Anthony Pacherille allegedly chased Wesley Lippitt from Cooper Park near the library entrance to the Baseball Hall of Fame across busy Main Street and down Fair Street. Lippitt ran into the Fair Street entrance to the building that houses the Cooperstown Police Department and tried to hide in the foyer.
Pacherille allegedly followed him into the building and opened fire with a .22 rifle, hitting Lippitt in the arm with one shot, sending another bullet ripping through two walls of the police station, before shooting himself in the chin. Police and village officials are declining to identify the shooter or victim, but the two Cooperstown Central School sophomores were identified by classmates, who witnessed the incident from Cooper Park.
Students in the park at the time of the incident said Pacherille had just gotten his learner’s permit and saw him circling the park. According to one witness, a 15-year-old sophomore girl, Pacherille idled the vehicle into the park at about 3 p.m.
He drove just past the statue of James Fenimore Cooper, where sophomores Lippitt, Samuel Bowen and Ben Pierson were gathered, said the girl, who asked that her name not appear in the newspaper.
``A couple of them went over and asked him why he was driving by himself, with just a learner’s permit,’’ she said.
``Then Tony [Pacherille] pulled out the gun,’’ she said. ``At first, I thought he was just trying to scare them.’’ The boys scattered. Lippitt ran out of Cooper Park, across crowded Main Street. Pacherille jumped out of his car, neglecting to put on the brake, and it rolled into the wrought iron gate at the park’s entrance, she said. The girl said she heard shots and within minutes the streets were flooded with police.
BY MICHELLE MILLER AND JIM AUSTIN
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