Chappaqua Shooting By Tuckahoe Man Likely Act of Revenge

The allegedly intended victim, a dean at Mount Sinai, was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Westchester Medical Center


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Dennis S. Charney, MD, Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, survived a violent assault by a former faculty member.

Photo Courtesy of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

It wasn’t until 3 pm yesterday that Chappaqua’s King Street reopened after police investigated a shooting that occurred outside Lange’s Little Store at 7 am Monday morning. Since that time, Hengjun Chao, a former faculty member at Manhattan's Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, has been taken into custody and arraigned on an attempted second-degree murder charge after opening fire on a former employer. Chao is currently being held at Westchester County jail until his next court date on September 7. Amid surfacing details about a previous lawsuit and Chao’s resulting termination, here is everything we know about the incident thus far:

• Hengjun Chao, 49, of Tuckahoe, has been charged with attempted  second-degree murder after shooting Dr. Dennis Charney, the dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, outside of Lange’s Little Store in Chappaqua, in addition to hitting an innocent bystander.

• Chao wielded a shotgun loaded with buckshot, which is a large shell often used for hunting deer and other game. Charney was being treated at Westchester County Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries. The other victim, an unnamed bystander, has since been treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released, according to New Castle police.

• Chao was taken into custody without incident, having already put the shotgun back into his car, according to New Castle police.

•  According to Lohud, Charney had tendered Chao with a letter of termination in 2009 for reputed research misconduct, after the school launched an investigation when Chao tried to blow the whistle on a colleague for falsifying medical research. Chao was officially fired in 2010.

• Chao lost a federal suit and appeal against Mount Sinai, in which he contended he was fired in part as retaliation, and also due to his Chinese heritage.

• Charles Ferry, the chief of the New Castle Police Department, told the New York Times that the shooting seems to be an act of revenge, stating, “I think he came up here intent on shooting someone.” 

 

Westchester has called the New Castle Police Department for comment, and will update you as more information is made available. 

 

 

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