The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

January 30, 2008

HARTLAND: Shooting prompts manhunt

HARTLAND — A shooting suspect is in custody after a Tuesday morning manhunt that led police on a search through Hartland and Newfane.

The suspect, 38-year-old Karl Heigl, is accused of shooting John W. Walsh, 24, outside 3100 Bishop Road, where both men were living.

A 911 call reporting a domestic disturbance at the home came in to the sheriff’s department dispatch about 11 a.m.

“I think they were in a verbal fight,” Niagara County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy James Voutour said. “We don’t know what prompted the dispute. ... The call was very sketchy when it first came in. We’re not quite sure what happened.”

A woman and three children were also in the home, which Voutour described as “sort of like a flop house.”

“They all live there,” he said. “They’re kind of like transient types.”

Both men were reportedly intoxicated, and arguments had been going on in the house “all morning long,” Voutour said.

The fight escalated, and White and Heigl ended up outside, where Heigl allegedly shot White once in the ankle with a shotgun.

“He was trying to scare him,” Voutour said.

Heigl then fled the scene on foot, apparently leaving the gun inside the home.

Walsh was transported by Wright’s Corners Fire Company ambulance to the company’s fire hall on Route 78, where he was picked up by Mercy Flight and taken to Erie County Medical Center.

The extent of Walsh’s injuries was unknown. According to ECMC patient information, he was still in the emergency room Tuesday evening.

Officers from the Lockport Police Department and the New York State Police assisted sheriff’s deputies with the search for Heigl, which lasted an hour and a half. The search involved bloodhounds and K-9 units from all three agencies, as well as a sheriff’s department helicopter.

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