‘A Horrific Incident’

WESTFIELD – A Lancaster woman is in critical condition after being shot in the head early Thursday morning.

At 2:28 a.m., the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a female victim with a head wound showing up at a Route 5 residence in Westfield. Officers from the Sheriff’s Office and Westfield Police Department responded to an apartment duplex and found Nicole M. Sheehan, 29, with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to her head. Sheehan had gone to a neighbor’s residence at which time the neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies learned that a male subject, Sam H. Reynolds, 38, also of Lancaster, was involved in the incident and was still in the area. At 5:15 a.m., while searching the area of the Barcelona beach and marina, deputies heard a gunshot from the area of the breakwall and shore of Lake Erie.

Reynolds was found dead on the beach, the result of an apparent suicide.

Sheehan was transported to Westfield Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Hamot Hospital in Erie, Pa., where she is still receiving treatment for her injuries. At this time, she is listed in critical condition.

“It’s a horrific incident,” said Joseph Gerace, Chautauqua County sheriff. “We don’t know what the motive was … but we’re praying for (Sheehan) and we’re hopeful.”

Preliminary investigation indicates the victim and subject were a couple and had traveled to the Barcelona area to celebrate Sheehan’s birthday. The investigation is continuing.