The manhunt for a pair of gunmen in Saranac Lake is over because police say the alleged victim made up the story.
The 55-year-old village resident called 911 Tuesday night around 7 p.m. and said he was walking on the railroad tracks off Pine Street in Triangle Park when two men shot and robbed him.
The unidentified man was airlifted to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington with a non-life threatening injury to his shoulder. He is listed in stable condition.
Wednesday morning police began questioning the story when they found the gun, a .22-caliber rifle, in the Saranac River near the crime scene. Police now believe the victim shot himself on purpose and made up the story of being attacked.
"We started receiving phone calls from the public. A potential witness has sent information that's leading us to believe this didn't occur the way he reported it," Saranac Lake Police Chief Bruce Nason said.
Police are not sure why the man shot himself, but they are concerned about his mental health. He may be charged with filing a false police report.
This is the second hoax call police have responded to near the tracks in the past year. Last year, a girl claimed she had been stabbed numerous times, but police later learned those wounds were also self-inflicted.
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