Man dies in gunfight in N.Y. courthouse

Posted: February 09, 2012

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. - A man killed in a gunfight with security officers at a courthouse yesterday was convicted a week ago of menacing the city mayor's daughter and was angry at the mayor, according to authorities and court documents.

Timothy Mulqueen, of Middletown, opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun in the lobby of his hometown courthouse about 9 a.m. Officers returned fired as people in the building dove under desks and scrambled for the rear door, authorities said.

Mulqueen, 43, died at a hospital. One of the officers suffered a graze wound to the arm, and two others were treated for shock.

Police and witnesses said Mulqueen rode a motorcycle to the city's downtown, went to City Hall at first and then ran to the courthouse in Middletown, a city of about 25,000 in the Hudson Valley, about 60 miles north of New York City.

Mulqueen's motive wasn't clear, but court records show he had been arrested on menacing, trespass and harassment charges after an encounter with the 23-year-old daughter of Mayor Joseph DeStefano at their home in August. He was looking for the mayor and became angry when he wasn't home.

She said he was dressed in a camouflage hat and black shirt and was carrying a black satchel.

Mulqueen was arrested after her family filed a complaint with police.

The mayor said yesterday that Mulqueen was armed with a machete, razors and homemade weapons made with nails and sticks when he showed up at his house on Aug. 6.

"We had a long history," DeStefano said. "He was arrested in 2000 and spent a few days in jail after we had a crackdown on housing-code violations. He ended up losing his properties."

DeStefano said Mulqueen has been living on disability and had "mental health issues."

On Feb. 1, Mulqueen was convicted on the harassment charge and fined $129.

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