NY Horse Instructor Shot Dead by Sniper on Couch, Police Say

An apparent sniper fired multiple shots into Ross Reisner's living room.

ByABC News
September 27, 2013, 1:49 AM

Sept. 27, 2013— -- Investigators in Long Island, N.Y., have launched a manhunt after a renowned horse riding instructor was fatally shot while sitting on the couch in his suburban home, and police believe he was intentionally targeted.

Ross Reisner, according to police, was sitting alongside his longtime partner in their living room Tuesday night around 8:45 p.m. when an apparent sniper, using a high-caliber weapon, fired multiple bullets through the window of the victim's Setauket home in Suffolk County. Reisner, 50, was transported to Stony Brook University where he was pronounced dead. Reisner's partner of 26 years was grazed in the arm with a bullet.

"We heard like six gun shots, which you do not hear around here," neighbor Michelle Hippering said.

Investigators have refused to speculate on a motive for the shooting or any potential suspects.

"This is not a random act," said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk homicide squad. "Given the information we possess, I believe they were fired on by someone who was intentionally firing on them."

A neighbor of Reisner's, who only identified herself as Linda, said the gunshots were "frightening."

"I came running to [the] front of house and there was a million police cars and ambulances," she said.

Reisner's brother, who said he's too scared to publically identify himself, told ABC News there was some bad blood between his brother and an old friend with whom he had a dispute.

"There seemed to be some falling out…it is speculated that he may be the cause or catalyst of this tragic ending of my brother's life," he said.

Reisner's brother described him as a wonderful man who was always the life of the party.

"Ross is the definition of just joy and fun and happiness," he said.

Reisner, his younger brother says, was "at the top of his career" and scheduled to take a riding team to the U.S. Equestrian Federation finals in New Jersey next month.

"He was excelling, admired and talented and this might have capitulated to greater heights. Sadly that opportunity has been taken from him," Reisner's brother said.