Shot Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius was gunman’s target, police say

Shot Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius was gunman’s target, police say

Gary Melius was the target of an attempted assassination, former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato says.

Suffolk County Police block the gate to Oheka Castle Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, in Huntington, where owner Gary Melius was shot by a masked gunman.
Suffolk County Police block the gate to Oheka Castle Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, in Huntington, where owner Gary Melius was shot by a masked gunman. Photo Credit: Myles Aronowitz

Suffolk County police told Newsday on Tuesday that it appears that Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius was the “target” of a masked gunman who shot him in the head on Monday afternoon.

According to early reports, the shooter wore a mask and a sweatshirt with a hood pulled up. Melius was shot in the head as he entered an SUV in the venue’s parking lot. Police have not yet commented on what type of weapon was used or how many shots were fired.

“It was not a robbery,” Melius’s close friend former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato told Newsday. “It was an attempt at assassination.”

Melius is currently in stable condition at North Shore University Hospital. Melius, 69, is active in Long Island politics in addition to owning the upscale wedding venue on Long Island’s North Shore.

Police are still searching for the gunman.

CAROLINE LINTON