Neighbors describe Utica shooting suspect as 'eccentric'

Neighbors knew Abraham Dickan as just "A". They said that was how the soft spoken 79-year-old introduced himself around his South Utica neighborhood.

Dickan's well kept home was surrounded by a large crowd of police on Tuesday night. Before anyone entered the home, officers in S.W.A.T. gear checked to make sure it was safe. Neighbors had said part of Dickan's eccentricity involved home security and that he had placed cameras and lights all around the house. One neighbor was concerned that Dickan may have installed an alarm system that could hurt intruders.

Neighbors added that Dickan had celebrated his 79th birthday on Wednesday night. Mark Piersma lived next door to Dickan and considered him a little eccentric but was shocked to hear police name him as a shooting suspect.

"It just seems like the last couple weeks he's been more agitated seemingly than before. I TMve heard him argue with somebody on the phone. He could be in his house and I'd be on my porch and I'd hear him clear as day. So I knew he had a temper, said Piersma. But I didn't think he would take it as far as he did."

Police said today they want to know more about Dickan and what led up to today's incident. There is a "for sale" sign outside Dickan's house, though his neighbors say he never had any intention of selling his home. Neighbor Mark Piersma said he knew Dickan kept a close eye on the neighborhood and thought he would be preventing crime - not involved in it.

Piersma added that he believed his neighbor was capable of holding a grudge, especially if he felt someone hadn TMt lived up to a commitment. Piersma said he hadn TMt heard anything about Dickan TMs previous troubles with the AT&T store in New York Mills.