Man Kills Grandfather Before Sending Disturbing Text to Roommate and Fatally Shooting Himself in State Park

A 24-year-old New York State man fatally shot his 80-year-old grandfather in his home, then turned the gun on himself in a state park during an intense manhunt for him, authorities said

Published Time: 29.06.2024 - 00:31:13 Modified Time: 29.06.2024 - 00:31:13

A 24-year-old New York State man fatally shot his 80-year-old grandfather in his home, then turned the gun on himself in a state park during an intense manhunt for him, authorities said.

On Thursday, June 27, at 5:38 a.m., officers with the Irondequoit Police Department responded to a call from a home made by someone yelling that there was “blood everywhere,” Police Chief Scott Peters said in a press conference reviewed by PEOPLE.

Officers responding to the call found Joseph Deponceau, 80, dead inside the front door.

“He was obviously deceased and appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound to his upper torso,” Peters said.

The woman who called 911 is Deponceau’s girflriend, who was unhurt and told police what happened and the name of the suspect: Deponceau’s grandson, Andrew Vahey.

Officers went to Vahey’s nearby home and surrounded it, he said.

At 7:20 a.m., they made contact with Vahey’s roommate, who was inside the house. He allegedly said Vahey had texted him saying “he had just killed his grandfather and now was going to kill himself,” Peters said.

They soon learned Vahey was in Livingston County and notified other agencies about the kind of car he was driving, he said.

New York State Park Police foun -

d Vahey’s in Letchworth State Park and were joined by other law enforcement agencies in launching a manhunt for him, Peters said.

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Officials evacuated and shut down the park while they searched for him.

Police found Vahey in the park carrying what appeared to be a long gun, said Peters. 

Authorities tried approaching Vahey, who fatally shot himself and was pronounced dead at the scene, Peters said.

“People in that family at the same time lost a grandfather and a grandson,” he said. “There’s a family that is extremely hurting today.”

Vahey and his grandfather “were having just an argument within the last couple weeks over property, over the house,” Peters said.

“What seemed trivial ... we never thought that something like this would escalate to this situation.”

He said police responded to a call at the house last week because the two were arguing over “parking on the grass, but that was it. We never had any issues before.”

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