Police arrived at the scene Friday, following a report of shots fired at the cemetery, and found Nojay ,59, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Officers may have witnessed the suicide.
Nojay, Assemblyman for the 133 district since 2012, had recently been facing fraud charges in Cambodia. He and two other defendants were accused of convincing a woman to invest in a bankrupt company under false pretenses, according to the Khmer Times.
Nojay, who was also facing a Republican primary Tuesday, reportedly shot himself near his family’s burial plot.
Local officials have released the following statements, in reaction to the news:
“I was saddened and shocked to hear the news of Assemblyman Nojay’s passing, and I offer my deepest condolences to the Nojay family during this difficult time,” Monroe County Republican Chairman Bill Reilich stated. “Bill Nojay had a great passion for public service, and served the residents of the 133rd Assembly District with great conviction. His sudden passing comes as a surprise to those who knew him well. In recent days, he had been speaking with great enthusiasm about his upcoming primary, and his overall excitement for this year’s election.”
In addition, “Any loss of life is a tragedy, and I am saddened by the news of Assemblyman Bill Nojay’s passing,” Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo stated. “Bill was a partner in government with a strong voice for upstate New York, and a champion for the people he represented. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Nojay family, and all of Bill’s many friends.”
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Assemblyman Bill Nojay’s passing this morning,” Monroe County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Jamie Romeo, and Democratic Assembly candidate Barbara Baer added in a joint statement. “He was a passionate advocate for Upstate New York, and the 133rd Assembly District. While we disagreed on most policy issues, Bill was a kind and smart man who was a pleasure to see on the campaign trail. Our thoughts are with the Nojay family, and their loved ones during this difficult time. Out of respect, we are temporarily suspending our campaign in the 133rd Assembly District.”
“A loss like this transcends politics and government, leaving only hollowness and heartbreak in its wake,” Sen. Rich Funke (R-Perinton) said. “Assemblyman Nojay was always a strong voice for upstate, who dedicated a great deal of his life to championing a core set of beliefs, whether in elected office, or over the airwaves. My thoughts are with Bill’s family, friends, and constituents on this most difficult of days.”
If Nojay should win on Tuesday’s ballot, the Republican Party will have ten days to nominate his replacement for the November election.