Updated 09/24/2012 10:47 PM
Former superintendent, principal found dead in Chautauqua County
The death of a school superintendent has left more than one community stunned. Keith Reed Jr. was the head of the Clymer Central School District, but spent most of his career working in the Southern Tier, in schools like Sherburne-Earlville, Horseheads and Campbell-Savona. YNN's Ryan Whalen has more on the ongoing investigation into his death.
CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Sheriff's Deputies are investigating the death of Keith Reed Jr. as a homicide. However, neighbors are shocked that anyone would shoot and kill the superintendent.
Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies visited Reed's home after colleagues reported that he did not show up to a conference in Saratoga Springs over the weekend. They were not able to find him on Sunday, but when they returned to the home on Monday morning, Reed's body was located outside of his house in Clymer.
"I'm not aware of anything like this in recent history happening in Clymer. It's a small town. It's a small community, a tight knit community," said Dave Foley, Chautauqua County District Attorney.
Reed had multiple gunshot wounds when he was found and investigators said it was an apparent homicide.
"In a small town like this and with hunting season coming up, I mean you hear people shooting all the time, so it wouldn't be an uncommon thing," noted Kristin Rhebergen, a neighbor. "I mean, we didn't hear anything, but if I was to hear someone shooting right now, I wouldn't think anything of it."
Residents said they are shaken by the crime, but also shaken by who the victim was.
Rhebergen added, "I've never heard anything but good about him. So it's a complete shock to find out that's happened to him."
Reed has been the Superintendent of Clymer School District since November of 2011.
"If you had a problem, you could go straight to him and he would work it out with you, just very happy towards people," remembered Brittany Reitz, a Clymer Central School senior.
According to students, he was a hands-on administrator.
"He was really nice. I liked him a lot," said Olivia White, a student.
"I was devastated and I was just shocked that someone like him would go. He was such a good person and had such a big impact on our school," added Reitz.
News of Reed's death has spread fast through the town, which has fewer than 2,000 people.
"Everyone knew him. So yeah, it hurt worse, but at the same time, we were all together so we could deal with it together," noted Reitz.
Most of the extracurricular activities were canceled at the Clymer Central School District on Monday. Students said school was optional and the district is offering resources to help them cope.