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POLICE FOLLOW LEADS IN SLAYING OF BUSINESSMAN

Five teams of police investigators are tracking down leads in an attempt to find the killer of a local businessman who died in his Route 219 home after being shot several times, including once in the head.

Kenneth L. Tatar, 27, was found dead Friday in the living room of a home he shared with his parents, Shirley and Andrew Tatar, along Route 219 four miles south of Springville.

So far, the investigation has determined the following:

Tatar's parent last saw him alive at about 5:30 p.m., when they went out to dinner. The parents told police that when they returned at about 10:25 p.m., they found their son, clad in shorts and socks, dead in a chair, with a television set on nearby.

Police say robbery was not a motive. No one, including associates and family members, has been ruled out as suspects, they add.

Tatar has had previous encounters with violence.

In January 1990, his mother shot him in the right leg in what was characterized as a domestic dispute, Sheriff Ernest J. Dustman said. The leg later had to be amputated, he added.

Lt. Dennis John of the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department and Lt. Chris Cummings of the State Police Violent Crime Investigation Unit in Batavia are heading the joint investigation.

An autopsy Saturday showed Tatar died of several gunshot wounds.

Police have searched the area around Tatar's home and his nearby business, the World of Wheels Skate Park, which opened late last year, and is operated by several members of the Tatar family. The facility, which cost about $500,000, is reputed to be the second-largest skate park in the Northeast.

Police, meanwhile, declined to say what time Tatar died and said they found no signs of forced entry. They were investigating whether the killer entered the home through the garage.

Although two shotguns were removed from the home, a murder weapon has yet to be identified.

In addition to his parents, survivors include three brothers, Daniel of Collins, Andrew of Blasdell and John of Machias.

Police have set up a command post for the investigation in the West Valley Fire Hall along Route 219.

"I think we are making progress," said Dustman, who was in the command post Sunday with Cattaraugus County District Attorney Michael P. Nevins.

Friday night, police stopped traffic along Route 219, asking motorists if they had seen anything suspicious near Tatar's home.

That produced several leads, John said.

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