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May 08, 2007
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Man fires sawed-off rifle in N.Y. courtroom


SLOATSBURG, N.Y. — A man pulled out a sawed-off rifle inside a Rockland County courtroom Monday night and tried to shoot a woman he was involved with in a domestic dispute, police said.

The man, who police said was in his 50s, missed her, and the shot went straight toward the judge, striking a window several feet above where he was sitting on the bench.

After the shooting, the man fled the Sloatsburg courtroom, chased by a female police officer, said Ramapo Detective Sgt. John Lynch.

"She believed he was going to fire again. She fired one round at him and missed," Lynch said. "And about midway into the parking lot here the officer and a civilian unrelated to the case were able to tackle him in the lot."

Rodney Vandunk, who said he knew the man's intended victim, described the scene inside the courtroom. "Desks got knocked over. A lot of people in trauma. You know, just a lot of chaos," he said.

The courtroom, on the second floor of Village Hall on Route 17, has no metal detectors. It was not immediately clear Monday night what charges the man faced.

Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.

Full story: Man fires sawed-off rifle in N.Y. courtroom

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