Deputies: Caledonia man charged with murder after shooting roommate

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CALEDONIA, N.Y. (WHEC) — A 64-year-old man is dead and his roommate is facing charges after a shooting on Alpine Lane at the Iroquois Road Trailer Park in Caledonia Sunday afternoon, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office said.

It started at around 3:30 p.m. with a call from Steven Adams, 56, who deputies say lived in the trailer. Deputies say he told dispatchers that he shot his roommate.

Deputies say they believe the relationship between the two became tumultuous heading up to the shooting. They say the Sheriff’s Office had received calls from the trailer prior, but the incidents were not violent.

Dale Ryerse, the owner of the trailer, was found in the living room with multiple gunshot wounds, dead on arrival. Deputies say they believe Ryerse and Adams had been friends for several years, but that it became a "bad landlord-tenant type relationship".

Deputies say Adams was charged with second degree murder and tampering with physical evidence.

The shooting investigation stretched out through Monday afternoon and deputies say that Adams cooperated with them throughout.

"Within minutes he ultimately was at the door," Sheriff Thomas Dougherty said. "He cooperated, there was no struggle, there was no standoff. It was peaceful. He then cooperated with us… he wanted to tell us his story of what happened and he ultimately told that story throughout the afternoon, evening and this morning."

Dougherty said it was a little different from a typical homicide investigation as a result.

"In a case like this you’re trying to determine if the story he’s telling could be a justified homicide, there is no doubt you have a homicide,” Dougherty said. "Does the story make sense? If it does make sense and the evidence leads to that story being true, would it be justified or would it not be, is there a criminal act here?”

Multiple weapons were recovered from the trailer.

Deputies say this is a completely isolated incident.

Adams pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment Monday night. He is due back in court on Friday, Jan. 28 at noon. He is being held without bail.

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Cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom.

Tamara Gibson lives about four houses down from the trailer the Sheriff’s Office says Adams and Ryerse shared. She spoke to News10NBC about what she says were the moments leading up to the shooting.

"When I went around that way and back around I had looked down at my dog and said, ‘Sounds like somebody’s having a little bit of a spat’ and then, like I said, I got back 15 minutes later and all the cops showed up and I was like, ‘Oh!’" Gibson said.

Gibson said the shooting rattled neighbors.

"Everyone is worried about shootings, everywhere in Rochester right now but as far as that goes, the neighborhood here should feel OK,” Gibson said.

Listen to Dougherty’s full press conference in the video below (mobile users, click here):

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