New York State Police say a former captain in the Rochester Police Department mistakenly pulled the trigger of his gun, killing his son.
It happened at a motel in Old Forge.
State Police say Michael Leach called 911 to report that he shot who he thought was an intruder at his Old Forge motel room early Saturday morning.
It turns out it was his 37-year old son.
The owner of the Clark Beach Motel said they aren't used to many emergency calls..
"We don't have violence here, like I said some of the worst problems we have are a bear getting in the garbage or the occasional domestic argument," said Dan Rivet, owner of Clark Beach motel.
Rivet was also the responding EMT when the shooting broke out at his motel.
State Police said 59-year old Michael Leach shot his son, Matthew Leach, after he thought he was an intruder just before 1 a-m.
Michael Leach started his career in the Rochester Police Department in June 1974 and rose up the ranks to captain. He retired in December 2001.
After retirement, he began working as a police officer with the Perry Police Department in Wyoming County.
"He had been sleeping and somehow he had awoken. And he had his service weapon in the room and whether he had a flashback or what cause it, he shot his son," said Rivet.
State Police say Leach's .45 caliber handgun, issued by the Perry Police Department was used in the shooting.
"Any officer in New York State if they are a certified law enforcement officer, they can carry the weapon with them whether it's on-duty or off-duty. Those particular decisions would be made if it's department policy," said Trooper Jack Keller, spokesperson for Troop D, New York State Police.
Rivet said the father and son were in Old Forge with a motorcycle club that visits every other year.
The Punisher's Motorcycle Club in Rochester has posted a memorial page in honor of Matthew.
His obituary lists him as a member of that club.
It also says he was married to Theresa Adduci Leach, no children are listed.
It describes him as "easy going, physically as well as mentally strong, and romantic."
He was a security guard and school wrestling coach for Greece Athena, Pittsford, and Brockport School Districts.
Police say they are working to learn more about the shooting.
"We are still trying to interview a number people and still trying to piece together exactly what happened prior to the call. But we are still talking to the District Attorney's Office and still working with them in trying to find out exactly what happened," said Trooper Keller.
Calling hours have been set at the Bartolomeo & Peretto Funeral Home in Rochester.
Calling hours are on Tuesday from 6-9pm, Wednesday 2-4pm, 7-9pm at 1411 Vintage Lane.
Funeral is set for Thursday at 10am at St. John the Evangelist Church on West Ridge Road.
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