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September 26, 2013

Middlefield shooting being charged as second-degree murder

Police: Father, son shot each other

Michael Buck, 33, suffered a gunshot wound to his right cheek in a shooting incident in Middlefield that left Buck’s father, Joseph A. Buck, 64, dead early Saturday morning in the house they shared, Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. said Monday.

“There were two individuals shot; one was shot once, one was shot multiple times,” said Devlin, who clarified that Michael Buck was shot once.

Devlin said two handguns were involved, but he didn’t release their make or caliber. In addition to the bullet wound to his cheek, Buck also sustained an injury to one of his hands.

“We’re weighing in the forensic reports to indicate what occurred,” Devlin said.

Michael Buck is accused of shooting his father and has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and first-degree criminal use of a firearm. He is being held in the Otsego County Correctional Facility and is scheduled to reappear in court Sept. 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Otsego County District Attorney John M. Muehl declined to comment on the reasons Buck was charged with second-degree murder. Muehl said it appears that Michael and Joseph Buck had an argument, although what the argument was about is not known at this time.

“It’s our understanding that they’d had an argument about something,” Muehl said.

The Otsego County Sheriff’s Office was first notified about the shooting by a 911 call from Buck’s aunt, whom Devlin said lives two houses away from where the shooting took place. Buck’s aunt initially called about a suspicious person outside her residence. Devlin said Buck subsequently approached his aunt’s house and told her that a shooting had occurred.

“He told his aunt, who relayed that information to us,” Devlin said.

After conducting interviews at the aunt’s residence, police went to the Buck residence on 163 Indian Run Road and found Joseph Buck’s body. Police also interviewed another involved party at the residence, although Devlin declined to release any information about this person.

Muehl said that this was the first time a murder charge has been filed in Otsego County since 2005. Devlin has served in Otsego County law enforcement for 24 years, and said he couldn’t recall another murder having occurred in Middlefield during that period.

“I don’t remember anything but I’m not going to say there wasn’t one,” Devlin said.

If convicted, Buck could face up to 25 years to life in prison.

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