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AT&T shooter a familiar face to employees
NEW YORK MILLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - Employees who work at the AT&T Store on Commercial Drive in New York Mills said the shooter who entered the building shortly before 1 p.m. on Thursday was a familiar face around the store.
Abraham Dickan, 79, of Utica, had previously made threats to employees and shown his gun at the store.
AT&T Employee Peter Abraham said he always thought Dickan was a tough customer, but that his words were just idol threats - that is until Thursday afternoon. Peter Abraham was on call to work at the store at the time of the shooting, but chose not to go in early that day. Now, he thinks it's fate. He spoke with fellow employees outside the crime scene to confirm his fears - that Dickan was the shooter.
Michael Bieksza is an AT&T customer who was in the store at the time of the shooting. He said he was picking up something for his daughter when he heard shots ring out, but no words from Dickan as he walked into the building.
Bieksza followed his instincts, fleeing the building using the side door as he caught a glimpse of the shooter, who he described as an older white male with a beard. What Bieksza didn't see was a 25-year-old off-duty Rome Police Officer - Donald Moore - who fatally shot Dickan, taking the life of one man, but saving the lives of many others.
"The door opened up and shots started ringing out," Bieksza said. "I turned around and I saw a white male with a beard. He shot one of the representatives standing there."
Meanwhile, customer Joe Massoud was about to walk into the AT&T store when an undercover police officer pulled up - the first to respond to the scene.
"The police car pulled up and told us to 'Get on the ground get on the ground,' shouting," said Massoud, who then ran across the street to the Harley-Davidson store.
Harley-Davidson then put its store on lockdown.
Witnesses say Seth Turk, the AT&T employee shot by Dickan, was working behind the counter at a computer at the time he was hit. Turk is now hospitalized and undergoing surgery at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, as State Police continue to investigate a fatal shooting that they said could have been far worse.