A 64-year-old New York state man who was arrested for possession of an illegal handgun after he fatally shot a pair of prowlers rooting through his home Tuesday afternoon reportedly told the district attorney the weapon he used in self-defense was his dead father's and he forgot to register it.
Ronald A. Stolarczyk was charged with felony possession of an illegal handgun, New York State Police said in a news release.
At about 2:40 p.m., officials say Stolarczyk interrupted a man and woman burglarizing his home in Deerfield, New York, located about four hours north of New York City. Stolarczyk then shot the two suspects, according to police.
But the 64-year-old was later arrested after authorities said they determined the handgun used in the shooting was illegally owned.
One of the alleged burglars, identified by state police as 57-year-old Patricia Anne Talerico of Utica, was pronounced dead at the scene. The second alleged intruder, her nephew, 27-year-old Nicholas Talerico of Utica, was transported to a hospital and died of his injuries.
"The word that we had originally was a possible home invasion, possible suspect running at large," New York State Police Trooper Jack Keller told WSYR-TV. "We were able to quickly identify who those people were identified as...but also we were able to determine quickly that there was no one else and the public was not in danger at all."
Police said they found items belonging to Stolarczyk at Nicolas Talerico's home, indicating he may have burglarized his home before, WCSI reported. It's unclear if Stolarczyk knew him.
Stolarczyk was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm and was transported to the Oneida County Jail, where he's awaiting centralized arraignment, according to state police.
The District Attorney's office and police continue to investigate Stolarczyk and the potential motive of the burglars.
Fox News' Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.