February 8, 2012

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Gunman shot dead after he opens fire on Middletown court

MIDDLETOWN – Court officers shot and killed a man who opened fire inside the vestibule of Middletown City Court Wednesday morning. The officers fired back, killing the man, but not before one of the state officers was grazed. The shooter was identified as Timothy Mulqueen, 43, of Middletown.

Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips said the suspect acted alone.

“The important thing to know is the armed intruder was engaged, he’s dead; it was not the act of a group. The citizens of Middletown can feel secure that this matter tragically is closed,” the DA said.

Orange County Sheriff's tactical unit prepares to
search area where suspect lived

Officers inspect exterior of city court

Chief Ramon Bethencourt briefs the media

Ninth Judicial District Chief of Security Mary Ellen Murray praised her court officers.“It is our position and our opinion that our officers acted very appropriately and courageously and probably saved many lives this morning,” she said.

The incident occurred around 9:10 a.m. The suspect rode up to the bank next door to city hall on a motorcycle with a rifle sheath strapped to the side. The bike remained outside the building under police guard as the investigation continued.

Mayor Joseph DeStefano said the city had “landlord issues” with Mulqueen and he held animosity. He even went to the mayor’s house armed with weapons last summer looking for him. His daughters and mother were home at the time. The police were called and he was found nearby with those weapons. An order of protection was issued against Mulqueen for the DeStefano family.

Two court officers were taken to the hospital for observation.

Because city court was shut down, Wallkill Town Justice Joseph Owen offered to handle city arraignments in his court, said Town Supervisor Daniel Depew.












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