Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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State Police investigate shots fired near Baseball Hall of Fame

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: State Police investigate shots fired near Baseball Hall of Fame
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Authorities are still searching for a man after reports of shots fired inside a local store. Our Cara Thomas has the latest from the scene.

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Schneider's Bakery is a popular place in Cooperstown. But Monday morning it was busier than usual. Their tiny store was packed with more than 18 people crammed inside at once.

"They blocked off Main Street so nobody could come in or go out so we had quite a little camaraderie going on in here. The local businesses were shut right down and customers couldn't go in or go out," said Rebecca Fogarty, Schneider's Bakery Manager.

Less than a block away, shots were fired at about 9 a.m. Police say a former employee Barry Michael Renert, 62, of a store called 7th Inning Stretch, began threatening the owner with a handgun. The owner shot at him in self defense. No one was injured and Renert escaped.

"There were a bunch of police officers with rifles and shotguns and taking cover," said Fogarty.

"At this time we're not sure location where he is we've checked here in the village, we believe he has a rental car. He could be heading back to Florida and he does have contacts in the county here," said Michael Covert, Cooperstown Police Chief.

Police say they believe the confrontation was about an ongoing criminal investigation concerning the two men. A friend of the owner, who asked to remain anonymous, says Renert used to live in Richfield Springs and seemed like a nice guy, until about a year ago.

"This guy has worked there for almost 10 years, he's been taking stuff and there's been an investigation and then he ran off to Florida," the friend of the owner said.

State police, the Otsego County Sheriff's Office and Cooperstown Police spent all Monday searching the area. But by late in the afternoon they said Renert could be anywhere.

"We've still got our doors locked, they don't know where he is so it's always a little, well it's scary," Fogarty added.

Police say Renert is a 62 year-old white man about 6'2". Wearing all black and has full sleeve tattoos.

Anyone who sees a man with this description is asked to call police immediately. They do consider him armed and dangerous.

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