Saturday January 12, 2013

KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

MANCHESTER -- A man who claimed to have been the victim of a drive-by shooting New Year's Eve has admitted to shooting himself, according to Manchester Police.

Donald Ely-Gardner, 27, remains in stable condition at Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center, where he is being treated for a gunshot wound to the chest.

Ely-Gardner admitted to police Thursday that he had shot himself intentionally with a .22 caliber pistol, according to Manchester Police Chief Michael Hall. Police believe Ely-Gardner was alone at the time of the shooting. Hall said relatives of Ely-Gardner told them he had been depressed.

Hall said he does not expect charges to be filed against Ely-Gardner as it's not the general practice of police or the state's attorney to charge people who harm themselves. Hall said the matter was brought to the attention of the public only because Ely-Gardner initially claimed to have been shot by someone near the mini-roundabout by Shaw's supermarket.

Hall said an investigation found evidence that the shooting occurred behind the former Movado store on Main Street. According to police, Ely-Gardner was taken to the Manchester Police Department at 8:30 p.m. by a friend he had contacted instead of 911. Hall said this aroused suspicions about Ely-Gardner's story.