The suspect in Thursday night's Union Street killing lured his victim from the apartment, then fired at him with a shotgun, police said today.
The suspect, identified as 20-year-old Evan Schwarz, fired at Anthony Marko and then fired again while Marko was down, police said.
Meanwhile, Niskayuna Police responded to Hillcrest Apartments to a report of a man who had bought a shotgun and was distraught.
As police were there, the suspect, Schwarz arrived, saw officers and fired a shot, killing himself, officials said today.
Niskayuna officers returned fire, not knowing whether the shot was aimed at them. The officers heard the shot and exploding glass.
But Schwarz had already killed himself, Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said this afternoon.
Carney concluded the return of fire, a total of five shots by two officers, was justified.
"They were quite right in doing so. But it ultimately didn't have any effect on the resolution of the matter. He killed himself with a shotgun," Carney said at an afternoon press conference.
Thursday night, police at the Hillside Village West apartments in Niskayuna surrounded a black Ford pickup that contained the body of the shooter.
Residents in a nearby apartment complex reported hearing multiple gunshots.
Witnesses identified the man killed on Union Street as Anthony Marko, 21, of 854 Union St. One witness said the shooter lured Marko out of the apartment with a promise of beer, and then shot him three times with a shotgun. The shooter was not identified late Thursday.
The witness, who called himself Marko’s best friend, said the shooter asked Marko just before he shot him: “Don’t you know who I am? Come back and drink with us.”
The young man said he came to the door after he heard the first shotgun blast go off, and then he watched “my best friend get shot.”
A neighbor said when he heard the shotgun fire, “I thought it was kids setting off fireworks. I heard one go off and then two more. They sounded like M-80s. Then I heard tires peel off.”
Neighbors said the shooter was dating Marko’s wife, Amanda, and that the couple had two children. A man who said he knew Marko for three years called him a straight arrow who worked two jobs to make ends meet.
“He had two kids, and two jobs and was getting a third job,” he said.
The man said Marko and his wife had separated a year ago and that he was paying alimony. The mother has custody, neighbors said.
“He was a good kid. He didn’t deserve to die for some nonsense,” the man said.
Police found Marko’s body in the east lane of Union Street, in front of 854 Union. He was lying on his back with his head tilted to the side, covered in blood.
In Niskayuna, Huck and several neighbors watched police swarming around the truck from the second story balcony of her apartment. Moments earlier, she said the man attempted to leave before police surrounded him and ordered him out of the truck.
“I heard the cops saying ‘get out of the truck, let me see your hands,’ ” she said.
Police cordoned off a wide area around Apartment 50 and covered the cab of the black pickup with a tarp. The truck matched a description of one the police were searching for in connection with the Union Street shooting.
Scanner reports earlier in the evening named the shooter in an all points bulletin and indicated he had purchased a gun earlier in the day. The same reports suggested the man was suicidal after having an argument with his family.
One man who arrived at the scene in Niskayuna claimed to be a friend of the shooter, who had been summoned by his family. Harley Spooner said the man had only recently moved to the area with his girlfriend — the woman who was married to Marko.
Spooner said the man — who he described as in his early 20s — bought a rifle after quarreling with his mother and father. He said the man was prone to suicidal thoughts whenever he failed to take his medication.
“But I never hear about him going out and buying a gun and doing it,” he said.