Neighbors are shocked AT&T shooter lived on their block

By By CAROLINE GABLE

NEW YORK MILLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - Neighbors of the AT&T shooter are reacting to the horrific news that the shooter was one of their own. To those who live on Richardson Avenue in Utica, Abraham Dickan was called just plain "A." But behind the elderly man known for keeping his lawn neat, was a dark side.

The homes surrounding Abraham Dickan's house are neat and charming, on what can only be described as a quiet and peaceful block. However, on Thursday night, police and investigators knocked on doors to unveil another side of Dickan, whose 79th birthday was just Wednesday.

Some called the AT&T shooter eccentric, but friendly - the type of neighbor who would look out for a package on your doorstep if you were out of town. No one described him as cold-blooded.
 
Outside the home Thursday was a sign advertising the home for sale. Neighbors say the sign has been on the lawn for years, just another quirk of their type "A "neighbor who wanted to see how much someone might pay for the property.   

Before retirement, neighbors say Dickan worked as a civilian at the Griffiss Airforce Base in Rome. After a divorce, they say he lived alone, and is now survived by at least one son and one daughter.

Now neighbors are looking for signs they might have missed, wondering why the man next door would have picked up a gun and shot a store employee.

Mark Piersma lives directly next to the home owned and formerly occupied by Dickan. He was floored when he heard the news about his neighbor.

"He was a nice guy,"Piersma said. "And I saw this on the news and it caught me off guard. I can't believe he did something like that. He'd argue now and then. We thought he had a temper. He's had an issue with my landlord now and then, but this is completely out of left field."

Outside of the shooter's home were also several security cameras, patriotic signs, but no other signs of trouble.    

Now neighbors are wondering how this man they thought they knew could have opened fire on that AT&T employee, leaving them with questions they may never have the answers too.

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