WATERLOO, N. Y. – The gunman who fatally shot two people injured, a third in a New York state village this week, was recently released on bail twice after two separate arrests last month, and the second for an alleged rape, authorities said Thursday.
State police Jim Barry Chase said Emerson Tohafjian, 48, Fayette, remained in custody in a hospital and faces charges in the Tuesday late-night shooting in Waterloo, in the Finger Lakes region in Seneca County.
The police said a taxi had just dropped the two women off at one of their apartments around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday when they were shot. The police said the man was shot and killed at the same location, but they have no details released about the relationship between the three victims.
One of the women survived being shot and called 911, ” Chase said. She was treated at a hospital and released, he said.
Chase said the names of the victims will be released after autopsies performed by the medical examiner’s office in Rochester are completed.
Troopers detected Tohafjian on a campsite in the neighboring Ontario County around 4:30 pm Wednesday, police said. A state police SWAT team and negotiators surrounded his small tent and Tohafjian surrendered three hours later, ” Chase said.
Tohafjian had cut his neck and wrist to surrender, police said.
“He has an extensive criminal record,” Chase said Thursday.
Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch said Tohafjian was arrested twice last month in two different cities. The first occurred on June 3 for felony charges, including assault. Porsch said the second occurred on 19 June, when he was charged with rape and unlawful imprisonment.
Tohafjian was released on bail after both arrests, the prosecutor said. He was last released from prison on June 21, Porsch said. When Tohafjian not to a scheduled court appearance on June 27, officers of justice requested that a bench warrant be issued for his arrest, but that was denied by a judge, Porsch said.
Porsch said he could not confirm whether one of the women was connected to the June cases because the state law prohibits the names of sex crime victims is unveiled.
Waterloo, a village of almost 5,000 inhabitants in the Finger Lakes region between Rochester and Syracuse, have not had a murder in more than 20 years, according to the Police, Jason Godley.