Wedding Hall Owner Shot in Oheka Castle Parking Lot


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The owner of Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York was shot Monday in the property's parking lot.

Gary Melius was entering his car when a gunman disguised in a mask attacked him. The 69-year-old succumbed to a gunshot to the head.

A 911 caller reported hearing the shots around 12:30 p.m.

When police officers arrived at the scene, the palace owner had already been rushed to the hospital by a relative.

The shooter or the motive behind the shooting has yet to be verified.

Melius is said to be in stable condition following surgery Monday night.

The Associated Press provided some background information that could possibly be a lead in the case.

In 2013, Melius was engaged in a controversial election lawsuit involving Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale:

The district attorney found that Dale had instructed officers to arrest a 29-year-old Roosevelt man, who had testified in an unrelated case that he had been paid to collect signatures for a third-party candidate. Melius, a supporter of the third-party candidate, then contacted Dale seeking to have the young man investigated. The young man was arrested on an outstanding warrant while riding a county bus on Oct. 5.

Dale soon after turned in his resignation when the "district attorney found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing."

Melius, who lives in the castle, purchased and repaired the abandoned estate in 1984. He then sold it, but repurchased the property in (image)2003.

The palace was built in early 1919 and was previously the home of financier Otto Kahn. After Kahn's death in 1934, the 443 acre estate served as the location for health care purposes and military job training.

After Melius reclaimed the property as his own, he turned it into a party venue for political conventions, fundraisers, and photo shoots. It has recently become the go-to-spot for celebrity wedding ceremonies.

The 127-room mansion was also turned into a lavishing hotel. Thirty-two rooms are used as guest rooms and suites.

As the second largest private home in America, the Oheka Castle is now valued at $30 million.

Image via Wikimedia Commons