Crime
2:22 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Symphony violinist fatally shot in Westfield

An apparent homicide is under investigation in the Chautauqua County community of Westfield.

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace says the body of a 61-year-old woman was discovered with a gunshot wound in her Titus Road home Wednesday afternoon.

A Google street view of 8448 Titus Rd., where the apparent homicide took place.
Credit Google Maps

The victim was identified Thursday as Mary Whitaker of Manhattan, a violinist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

"Friends went to the home because they couldn't reach her and discovered her there," Gerace told WBFO.

An autopsy is being conducted Thursday at Erie County Medical Center. Investigators say the wound does not appear to be self-inflicted.

Gerace says the shooting appears to be an isolated incident and that neighbors are safe.

"We do not think that the community is in danger," he said.

State police and the FBI have joined Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies in the investigation.