2 Dead, 1 Survives Serious Injury In North Utica Shooting
Two people are dead and one has survived serious injury after an early morning shooting in Utica. The Utica Police Department held a press conference Monday morning to announce details on the shooting that happened at two separate residences in North Utica.
According to UPD Chief Mark Williams, officers were dispatched just after midnight to 455 Elmhurst Road for reports of a 'shots fired incident.'
Upon arrival officers located a man, identified later as 33-year-old Andrew Pruitt of Utica, with a gunshot wound to his forehead. He was transported to a local hospital where he is currently conscious and is expected to survive. Police were able to speak with him.
Williams said, at the time of the incident Pruitt was visiting the home of a co-worker, 35-year-old Heather Mock. Police believe the shooter, 38-year-old Christopher Conkling, entered the home through an unsecured rear door, abducted Mock after shooting Pruitt and brought her to his residence at 434 Van Rensselaer.
Officers then arrived on scene at Van Rensselaer and established a perimeter. After several attempts to make contact with Conkling failed, law enforcement used a remote camera to access the home and SWAT members entered. That is where they discovered the bodies of Conkling and Mock. Both suffered fatal gunshot wounds, according to officials. Conkling's wound was self-inflicted.
UPD Chief Williams confirmed that all three individuals involved in the incident were employed as Correctional Officers at Marcy Correctional Facility and all three knew each other. It was also learned that Conkling and Mock were engaged to be married, but the relationship ended just about a year ago.
Though the investigation is ongoing, police do not believe there were any prior incidents or threats made between Conkling and Mock.
Both scenes are active crime scenes and an investigation will continue. Police say the initial 911 call was made by Heather Mock's mother who was home at the time of the initial shooting. Mock leaves behind two children, who were not home at the time and are safe.
We will continue to provide updates on this story as they become available, but at this time there will be no prosecution in this case, as the suspect is deceased.
The YWCA Mohawk Valley is responding to today’s murder-suicide in Utica.
Executive Director Dianne Stancato says they’re devastated to learn of another apparent domestic violence homicide in the City.
She says they have no words to describe the pain shared with the community at the news of this tragic loss of life.
Stancato says their thoughts go out to the family of Heather Mock, who left behind two children.
This is the second domestic violence-related homicide in Utica in the past two weeks.