TICONDEROGA — Police believe a man found dead in a wooded area here Monday afternoon is Jimmy Joe St. Andrews, suspected of shooting into a crowd Friday night and injuring a Hudson Falls man.
At about 4:05 p.m., a law-enforcement search team found the body near Mount Hope Cemetery on Burgoyne Road. Police said in a statement that the man appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that evidence found around him pointed to his identity as St. Andrews.
Ticonderoga Police Chief Mark Johns said in an interview that positive identification was pending the results of an autopsy; he didn’t yet know when that would happen.
“It’s very sad for the families involved,” he said of the discovery. “But there’s a lot of relief for a lot of worried people around town.”
FIRED INTO CROWD
The manhunt for St. Andrews, 45, of Putnam, had continued into a third full day Monday around Ticonderoga.
Friday at 10:45 p.m., six people were standing at a picnic area at the rear of 105 Montcalm St. in Ticonderoga — behind a chain-link fence at the rear of Roxie’s Indulge Hair Salon — when St. Andrews allegedly crept up and fired a handgun at them several times.
“Officers arriving on the scene found a victim who was shot multiple times,” Johns said.
Three shots had struck Michael A. Tyler, 45, in the abdomen and each leg, the chief said, with slugs from a small-caliber handgun. He was treated at Albany Medical Center and then released.
He was doing well, Johns said Monday.
St. Andrews’s estranged wife, Kellie, was at the picnic gathering but wasn’t hurt.
Witnesses identified St. Andrews as the shooter.
About 20 minutes after the shooting, a despondent St. Andrews called his sister, and her description of the call gave authorities some insight into locations where he might be found and also what his state of mind was and how the search might end, Johns said.
The suspect had left on foot; the spot where the remains were found is about 3/4 of a mile from where the shooting took place. Police said it was related to a domestic dispute.
“The investigation is still continuing into the source of the handgun,” Johns said.
The St. Andrewses were convicted in 2009 of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child in Washington County Court, for alleged involvement in an underage-drinking party that their son, Dustin, held in 2008. It was after that party that Dustin, then 17, crashed a car loaded with teens enroute to Ticonderoga at more than 100 miles an hour.
Two 16-year-old girls were killed.
Jimmy Joe’s conviction was overturned by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in 2011, while his wife’s was upheld.
Dustin is currently serving up to 7-1/2 years in state prison on a vehicular-manslaughter conviction; he is eligible for parole in December.
Assisting Ticonderoga Police with the manhunt and investigation were New York State Police, New York State Forest Rangers, Department of Environmental Conservation Police, Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department and Essex County District Attorney’s Office. The Washington County Sheriff’s Department also conducted ground searches in the Town of Putnam.
Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Debra Malaney said earlier Monday that she hoped the search would end without further bloodshed.
“It’s a tragedy, an absolute tragedy,” she said.
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.