Authorities: Middletown Courthouse Gunman May Have Been Targeting Mayor Joseph DeStefano

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Authorities say a gunman who was shot and killed after walking into a Middletown courthouse in Orange County Wednesday morning may have been targeting the mayor.

The incident took place around 9:09 a.m. shortly after the courthouse opened. Police said 43-year-old Timothy Mulqueen drove up on a Honda dirt bike carrying a shotgun inside a hunting sling.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

Officials say he then took out the gun, walked into the courthouse and opened fire after reaching a metal detector and security checkpoint inside the building before he was eventually killed by two court officers, who opened fire, according to the Orange County District Attorney.

One of the court officers was grazed by a bullet and taken to an area hospital.

“As soon as I heard the gunshots…I hit the floor, I heard everybody yelling,” witness Rameek Alston said.

Authorities believe Mulqueen entered the building looking for Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

“I don’t know what his intent was, and I guess we’ll never know what his intent was, but he had a lot of anger,” DeStefano said. “I’m just thankful that the court officers were there and able to protect all the people at City Hall and the city court.”

The two apparently had a long, contentious history dating back to 2000, when the mayor deemed Mulqueen a slumlord. He later lost his properties.  Turns out, Mulqueen had a court date Wednesday to appear on an order of protection regarding the DeStefano’s daughter.

Mulqueen had been charged with third-degree menacing stemming from an encounter with the mayor’s daughter at the DeStefano home, where he apparently showed up armed with a machete and a board embedded with nails last August.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell In Middletown

“I was concerned when her came to my home, absolutely, you know, concern your children and why somebody would come to your home,” DeStefano told WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell.

Witnesses inside the building described a chaotic scene.

“People tripping over each other. The ladies, the young people that were in there were screaming,” witness Travis Schadt told Haskell.

“He just started opening up in the courthouse and he was shot,” witness Bruce McCann told CBS 2’s Lou Young.

“I heard no talking from the suspect, it was all from the court officers,” said Schadt. “‘Get down, get down, stop’ and then they fired.”

WATCH: CBS 2’s Lou Young reports

“I never seen as many people running as I did,” said witness Eric Moranti. “Everybody was pushing and shoving to get out.”

“Thank God the court officer had weapons to defend everybody or there would have been a mass murder here today,” said witness Marty Memmelaar.

Mulqueen is believed to have been a lone gunman. Before his identity was revealed, authorities said the suspect was well-known to police.

  • BL

    They have Police Power while on duty!!

    • The Facts

      They have peace officer powers at all times. Their arrest powers are somewhat less than those of police officers.

  • Al Sharpton

    Why did they kill him, they should be trained to shoot the gun out of his hand. It is done on TV and in the movies. UPDATE: Mulqueen was white……….good shooting Court Officers.

  • Robert Moses

    This incident is actually Mike Bloomberg’s fault. Bloomberg is once again “solving” New York City’s crime problem by maliciously and ILLEGALLY exporting the City’s lowlife criminal element to the quiet and pristine suburbs where REAL Americans live.

    Why is everybody ignoring this glaring fact? Why is nobody worried? Why is nobody suing NYC over this?

    • LG

      S.T.F. UP

  • JohnW9540

    A board studded with nails? No mental illness here.

  • DavidD

    Good job by the NYS Court Officers. These professionals keep the courts and courtrooms safe every day 24/7. Everyone who has been in a courthouse in NYS owes their safety to these fine men and women.

  • Proletarian

    Being a communist, that is absolute BS. We like guns too, so when revolution comes, we can chase all you bourgeois swine out of your homes and safe havens, into the streets, where we can string you all up from trees and lightposts. In a short time thereafter, we will all be happy to see your sun bleached, permanately grinning faces.

    • Kim Jong Un

      If you are such a loyal communist, then you should come to North Korea and experience TRUE communism under my holy iron fist.

  • also concerned citizen

    I guess making it harder to get guns would not be helpful.

    • The Facts

      If he purchased the shotgun legally in New York he would have had to undergo an FBI background check. How much harder would you suggext?

  • dollars and SENSE

    In the last 50 years, what percentage of NY City and State tax revenue (income, sales, real estate, etc) has been outlaid for NYC public assistance and food stamp programs on an annual basis? In that same time frame, what percentage of NYC residents have received such benefits (also on a year-to-year basis)? And is it all possible that funds for such programs could ever be exhausted (at least for a few months) one day?

  • Dan Te

    Guns should be banned!

    • The Facts

      One would first have to repeal the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This will never happen, thankfully.

  • Peter

    Good !!!!!!!!!!

  • Pop

    Whereis the Courthouse in Middletown, NY? Goshen?

  • T

    They are COURT OFFICERS not security guards!
    The perp fired through the front door of the Courthouse before making it to the Magnetometer Screening.
    Learn All of the Facts before you make an Ignorant Comment like that!

    • dawn

      no its not in goshen about 15 minutes from there

    • DaEmph

      Yeah, but it makes you wonder why court officers can’t carry firearms. That should be a mandate.

      • Kazoo

        They do carry, just not when they are handling prisoners.

    • CT Native

      Correct. There are lots of idiots out there who troll and like the anonymity of posting.

  • time for donuts

    Don’t court houses have security guards that check your bags and metal detectors?? Guess someone took an early donut break.

    • Patrick Creeden

      This court had not security guards but court officers who are sworn police officers. The shooting happened as the gunman reached the security checkpoint. I guess you have never heard the saying that it is better to keep your mouth closed and be percieved as a fool, than open it and remove all doubt.

      • The Facts

        They are peace officers, not police officers.

    • Anna

      Court houses do not have security guards they have Court Officers! If someone took an early donut break, there would have probably been more injures. God bless the Court Officers of NYS! What an ignorant comment!

    • Marion

      First of all we take a test just like NYPD and train as well. So there for Court Officers have to carry guns. Know what you are talking about before you open your mouth. I have work for the Unified Court System for 26 years and my co-workers are there to serve and protect the Judges and everyone in the court building. So the next time the test come out you just may want to take it if you have some dam common sense. I am proud of my fellow coworker.

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