Standoff On Route 32; Still Under Investigation

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An hours-long standoff between a lone gunman and New Paltz police early Saturday morning at a Route 32 home sent the suspect to an area hospital with a gunshot wound.

New Paltz police were dispatched to the home for earlier reports of a domestic dispute around 3 a.m. on October 24. When they arrived, the 60-year-old man inside fired shots at the officers with a high-powered rifle. Attempts to negotiate with the man were refuted with several more shots fired at the officers, police said.

An unnamed officer who shot one round toward the home  has since been placed on an administrative leave as part of department protocol, New Paltz Police Lt. Robert Lucchesi said.

“The leave is to make sure that the officer is mentally and physically ok, and to give them some time to decompress before returning to work,” Lucchesi said. “That officer will be returning to work next week.”

State police are conducting an investigation on the weapon’s discharge, Lucchesi said.

No officers were injured in the altercation, but the suspect inside the house was later discovered unconscious with a gunshot wound, according to police. He was given immediate medical care and was transported by helicopter to an undisclosed area hospital.

As of Wednesday, no charges have been filed. Whether the gunman’s wound was self-inflicted or result of the New Paltz officer’s fire is still under investigation, police said.

Lucchesi said the investigation is being conducted by the Ulster County District Attorney’s office.

Police have not released names of the suspect and the officer under leave following the incident, as the investigation is still pending.

As of Tuesday, the suspect remained at an area hospital in stable but critical condition.

The incident caused lengthy detours in the area surrounding Brookside Road, Route 32 and Jansen Road for several hours, which extended into Saturday evening.

“The roads remained closed even after the shooter was located and transported to the hospital because that whole area was a crime scene,” Lucchesi said.

Also at the scene with New Paltz police were Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies, state police, police from Plattekill, Lloyd and SUNY New Paltz, the New Paltz Fire Department and the town of Newburgh police tactical unit.

“There was a tremendous amount of cooperation by all of the agencies that were involved,” Lucchesi said. “Numerous agencies from throughout the area were able to convene and work smoothly to bring a resolution to this. We were just glad that no officers or innocent bystanders were hurt.”

About Kristen Warfield 72 Articles
Kristen is a fourth-year journalism major and editor-in-chief of The Oracle.