OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego County Sheriff’s Office has closed its investigation into what they say was a double homicide and a suicide this summer.
Three people were found dead in late July at 1675 County Route 11 in the town of Parish.
Found dead was the homeowner, 28-year-old David Quinn, of 1675 County Route 11. Also identified was 22-year-old Anthony Patla of 1195 County Route 11 Parish. The third person found was 15-year-old Logan Goncalves of 1195 County Route 11 in Parish.
At a press conference moments ago, Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd said that in the early morning hours of July 23 at that residence Quinn shot and killed Patla and Goncalves.
Patla was the first victim, according to the sheriff. He was fatally shot at close range, Todd added.
The second victim was Goncalves.
The two young men died immediately from their injuries, the sheriff said. “It does not appear that they suffered,” he added.
The fatal shots were fired from a .38 caliber revolver unlawfully possessed by Quinn, according to the sheriff.
Sometime later that morning, Quinn turned the gun on himself and committed suicide with a single gunshot to the head.
“We now know how all this happened,” the sheriff said. “What we will never know is why it happened.”
The sheriff was joined at the press conference by investigators Scott Beckwith and Randy Pitcher, DA-elect Greg Oakes and Undersheriff Gene Sullivan.
He cited Beckwith and Pitcher for their efforts to resolve the case.
On Saturday, July 23, deputies were sent to the residence on a report of a possible unattended death. That report came from a relative of Goncalves who had gone to the home looking for him. All three people appeared to have suffered apparent gunshot wounds.
The bodies were transported to the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office for examination.
“Since that time, sheriff’s personnel have engaged in an exhaustive and extensive investigation,” Todd said, adding that several pieces of evidence were collected and take to the New York State Police lab to be studied.
Investigators also conducted interviews with people who may have had information pertaining to the case, he said.
The investigation revealed that Patla was shot two times by Quinn while he sat on a couch. Goncalves was also shot twice, Todd added.
The sheriff was asked if the first victim was shot twice, why didn’t the second man have time to escape.
“They were in the same room, but there was some distance in between. It really doesn’t take that long to shoot somebody,” he replied.
The .38 caliber handgun was found at the scene, near Quinn’s body.
“The fatal gunshots were consistent with the weapon that was recovered,” Todd said. “It had not been registered since 1973; and possibly last registered to a person in Broome County. Quinn did not legally posses that gun.”
The gun had DNA evidence on the trigger and cylinder that belonged to Quinn, according to the sheriff’s report.
“We found no evidence that any other person was present or involved when this incident happened,” Todd said. “There is not and was not any on-going risk to the community.”
Information obtained reveals that Patla was staying at the home. Both Patla and Goncalves, a neighbor from up the street, were visiting Quinn, Todd said.
There was no indication that drugs were involved.
One of the reasons the investigation took a long time, the sheriff said, is due to relying on the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office and NYSP lab – both of which he pointed out are very busy with their own cases.
“We don’t have our own lab here, we have to depend on the generosity of Onondaga County and the New York State Police lab,” Todd explained. “So if you have an open homicide where you don’t know who the perpetrator is or anything like that – all that stuff takes precedent over stuff like this.”
“One of the three we knew was the shooter; we thought we were sure who it was and we were right. But again, that takes a back burner to anything that is a very pressing issue. The DNA and all that stuff there is so much of it down there that it takes an extremely long time to get through,” he continued.
Beer cans were reportedly strewn around the area. However, the sheriff said there was no evidence to support a “huge party” had taken place, “There’s no indication that nobody other than those three people had been there that day,” he said.
According to the post mortem findings, Quinn and Patla “were legally intoxicated,” Undersheriff Sullivan said.
As for Quinn’s criminal history, the sheriff said it was “nothing of any significance, maybe a DWI or something; but nothing of any violent nature.”
“We know ‘how.’ The ME has confirmed and the labs have confirmed that. But we certainly, and I’m sure these guys, Gene and Greg and myself, we sit there and go through this in our mind and think, ‘what exactly happened?’ They were found pretty much where we think they were all sitting; for some reason, he pulls out a gun and shoots the other two,” the sheriff said. “Then, at some point, shoots himself. Why? There is no indication that we know of from anybody that this would occur. What snapped? What went wrong? Who said what? We’ll never know because we have no witnesses and we have no notes, no anything.”