Two Clarksville deaths remain under investigation

CLARKSVILLE — A 17-year-old has been charged with murder and manslaughter in connection with two deaths in the Town of Clarksville, Allegany County. 

State Police arrested William J. Larson Jr. Thursday evening. Police charged Larson with two counts of second-degree murder, a class A-1 felony, and two counts of first-degree manslaughter, a class B felony.

Larson was arraigned and transported to the Erie County Youth Services Center, where he is being held on $50,000 cash bail/$100,000 bond.

State Police have not publicly identified the victims or released a cause of death, but the deceased are believed to be Larson's parental guardians, William Larson Sr., 67, and his wife Lisa, 50, who resided at 8472 Courtney Hollow Road in Clarksville, the site of Wednesday night's fire.

The criminal complaint in the case alleges that the defendant shot the victims with a rifle. The complaint states that the victims were shot on or about Nov. 5 in the driveway of the home.

Larson was taken into custody without incident by a State Police patrol on Barber Road after evading police for much of the day.

At around 11:30 p.m. late Wednesday night, Clarksville, Cuba and Friendship firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at 8472 Courtney Hallow Road in the Town of Clarksville with a report of two people trapped inside. Scanner reports indicated two victims were extricated from the structure, followed by radio chatter of a double homicide.

State Police responded to the structure fire at 12:45 a.m. in the early morning hours Thursday. State Police confirmed Larson did reside at the residence on Courtney Hallow Road. He was identified on scene while the fire was being extinguished and left the location prior to State Police arriving, police said.

A Code Red was issued by Allegany County 911 advising residents in the area to remain indoors and shelter in place. State Police set up a command center at a church near in location of the fire, housing a heavy police response during the search for Larson.

Several school districts in the area, including Bolivar-Richburg, Cuba-Rushford and Portville, cancelled school Thursday due to safety precautions. The Salamanca school district went into a lockout.

New York State Police were assisted by NYSDEC, NYS Forest Rangers, Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, Allegany County Emergency Services, Cuba Police Department, Clarksville Fire Department, Clarksville Ambulance, Obi Church and the people of town of Clarksville.