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article imageGunman opens fire in lobby of Upstate New York courthouse

By JohnThomas Didymus     Feb 9, 2012 in Crime
Middletown - There was panic inside Middletown City Court in Orange County on Wednesday, when a man armed with a shotgun opened fire, wounding a court officer. The man Timothy Mulqueen, 43, of Middletown, was killed when security officials returned fire.

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NBC New York reports that at about 9 a.m., Mulqueen stormed the courthouse with a 12-gauge shotgun and opened fire in the lobby on three officers before he was shot. One of the officers was wounded in the arm while two others were treated for shock. David Bookstaver, spokesman for the state office in charge of New York's local court system, said: "He had more rounds for the shotgun and had he made it past the officers, who knows what mayhem might have ensued. It appears at this point that the officers may have saved countless lives."
According to NBC New York, Mulqueen died at the Orange Regional Medical Center. Police and eyewitness accounts say he rode a motorcycle to the downtown City Hall. The Wall Street Journal reports a witness said he circled the building a few times then parked and pulled out a 12-gauge gun. After an employee inside the City Hall stopped him, he ran through a set of doors connecting the City Hall to the Middletwon City Court where he proceeded to fire on the three court officers.
NBC New York says Mulqueen had been arrested for trespass and harassment after an incident involving the 23-year-old daughter of Mayor Joseph DeStefano in their home in August. According to Reuters , court documents showed Mulqueen was already scheduled for a court appearance.
According to Nicole DeStefano, the mayor's daughter, there was violent knocking on the front door on the evening of August 6, and when she answered the door she saw Mulqueen who demanded to see her father. Ms. DeStafano explained: "This person then got agitated after I told him my father was not home. This person started to make violent hand gestures and he began to yell at me. The way this person was behaving made me fear for my safety."
According to Reuters, the man had carried a machete when he visited the mayor's home.
The police arrested Mulqueen after the family complained, but he told the police casually : "Yeah, I knew it was Joe-Joe's house. I needed to talk to him about something. I don't want to talk with you."
The Wall Street Journal reports Mayor DesStefano said in response to inquiries about his connections with Mulqueen: "I don't know what his motive was, but I believe he did have a lot of problems in his life and maybe he was blaming others."
Mulqueen's lawyer, Edward Bruno, who said he had known Mulqueen for 20 years admitted that Mulqueen had been showing signs of mental disturbance lately.. According to The Wall Street Journal, Mulqueen was one of the landlords arrested after the mayor announced an initiative to increase code enforcement on rental properties in the effort to beautify the city.The mayor had said he knew Mulqueen would be unhappy with him, but he added, "I hope it's a message that we're very serious about the code enforcement issue."
Mulqueen's close associates said his mental condition deteriorated only recently. Nick Marino, 64, who once co-managed a business with him said he had always been fine until recently when he met Mulqueen, he talked about government conspiracies and he had an "angry crazed look on his face. I'd never seen him at that stage and it was scary."
Mulqueen appeared to have fallen into difficult times. According to The Wall Street Journal, he lived in a one-bedroom apartment where, according to the landlord's son, he was placed by a nonprofit organization that aids people with disabilities.
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