Man Held Without Bail in Connection With Homicide in Barre

There is no threat to public safety, authorities said

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A Massachusetts man is being held without bail for the murder of a man found with gunshot wounds Friday morning at a home in Barre, Massachusetts.

Local and state police responded to 113 Town Farm Rd. at about 8:30 a.m. after receiving a report that a homicide had occurred.

"Barre Police received a 911 call from a man saying that he had just killed another man," Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early, Jr. said.

Within a few minutes, police said "the threat was mitigated."

But investigators say a middle-aged man who owns the property was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

A suspect was apprehended later in the day in nearby East Brookfield, according to Early. He was identified as Robert Leger, 71.

"Robert Leger, 71-years-old, of Barre, was taken to the Barre police station for questioning, he was placed under arrest and charged with murder and unlawful possession of a firearm," Early said.

The district attorney said both the victim and Leger lived on the property.

"The defendant lived in a small house on the grounds at 113 Town Farm Road. The victim is believed to be Mr. Leger's landlord," Early said.

Leger was arraigned in East Brookfield District Court later in the day on charges of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. Not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf and he was ordered held without bail. Leger is due back in court Sept. 10.

The motive for the shooting remains unclear.

Authorities have not yet identified the victim, but a family friend who stopped by the scene told NBC10 Boston the man was well-known locally and framed houses for him.

The friend, who did not want to provide his name, said he was supposed to meet with the victim Friday morning but then found out about what had happened.

"They're very distraught," he said of the victim's family. "We all woke up today expecting to have a great day, great weekend and you know, a family member and friend and staple of the community died."

A man who works nearby was also shocked to hear of the incident.

"It's scary. It's right next door, you know, anything could happen, so it’s a terrible thing," Pat Orszulak said.

While the shooting is under investigation, Early is reassuring residents there is no threat to the public.

Meanwhile, an autopsy will be performed on the victim by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the district attorney said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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