KINGSTON — Police allege a Schoharie County man shot a co-worker Monday at an upstate office for New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection.
David N. Reese, 53, of Gilboa, was charged with second-degree murder Monday following the shooting at 71 Smith Ave. in Kingston, Ulster County, according to the Kingston Police Department.
Reese is accused of shooting Aron J. Thomas, 33, of Olivebridge, a hamlet west of Kingston.
The Smith Avenue site is one of several maintained upstate by the DEP, a New York City agency responsible for, among other things, the city’s water supply reservoirs and facilities such as the Gilboa Dam in southern Schoharie County.
Nearly 200 people work in the Kingston office. Police were called there around 6:46 a.m. Monday.
They found Thomas dead of an apparent gunshot wound and took Reese into custody at the scene.
A handgun was recovered, police said in a news release.
DEP spokesman Adam Bosch said the department is passing questions on the incident to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office and the Kingston Police.
A Kingston Police Department sergeant said it was unclear whether there’s been a longstanding feud between the two employees. An investigation was under way, he said.
In addition to offices, the DEP’s Kingston facility features a water-testing laboratory, a garage for the DEP’s fleet of vehicles and a police academy for the agency’s police force.
Thomas worked in watershed maintenance, keeping grounds and buildings in working order. He was with the agency for nearly nine years. Reese, a technician who maintained machinery and electronics, joined the DEP in 1998.
Both worked in the same area of the building, according to authorities.
The DEP shut down the office following the shooting and gave workers the day off, and grief counseling was established for employees.
“We are shocked and saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred early this morning at DEP’s offices,” DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said in a statement.
“The thoughts and prayers of all DEP employees are with the victim’s family and loved ones. We will do all we can to support them in the days and months ahead,” he said.