Gary Melius, owner of Oheka castle on Long Island, was shot in the head by a masked gunman this afternoon when he was in the parking lot of his estate. Melius has been reported as "alert and conscious," but the gunman is still at large.
Police have yet to reveal a suspected motive for the shooting (owns large castle, is picture of envy does not count), but his friends have some vague thoughts of their own.
As to who would want to shoot Mr. Melius, Mr. Schlesinger said that after a lifetime in business, he had undoubtedly made enemies, but Mr. Schlesinger could not imagine who would want to kill him.
"We have been racking our brains," he said. "We can't come up with anyone."
Mr. Schlesinger bizarrely did not mention that Melius owns a large castle and is a picture of envy.
Melius purchased Oheka Castle in 1984 and it remains the second-largest private estate in all of America, behind the Biltmore House in North Carolina. It was featured prominently in Citizen Kane and is as baller as these kinds of things tend to be.
Prominently involved in the political landscape of Long Island, Melius' position among the upper crust adds intrigue to the story:
While friends describe Mr. Melius as charming and a smart political operator who was not one to be ruled by ideology, he found himself enmeshed in a scandal last year that led to the resignation of the Nassau County police commissioner, Thomas Dale.
Oheka is also rumored to be part of the inspiration for Jay Gatsby's mansion in The Great Gatsby. Melius purchased it for only $1.5 million in 1984, but charged $15,000 for a weekend stay at the castle in 2012, allowing simple plebes with disposable pocket pennies to share in its lavishness if only for two nights.
[Image via Estate Weddings and Events]