A 2 a.m. shooting at Murphy's Restaurant and Pub, a popular Main Street pub in New Paltz, left one victim dead and another seriously injured, New Paltz police announced Sunday morning. The shooter is still at large.
The identities of the victims have not yet been released. So far, police have released few details on the incident, and no description of the suspect. From a police statement published today by the New Paltz Times:
Officers on patrol observed a disturbance in front of Murphy’s Restaurant and Pub and upon investigation learned two people were shot while inside the bar. Both victims were transported to a local hospital where one of the victims was pronounced dead.
The investigation is continuing and police ask anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the New Paltz Police Detective Division at (845) 255-1323. All information will be kept confidential.
It's the second major gun incident this week in the college town of New Paltz, where the 19-year-old boyfriend of a SUNY New Paltz student was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly pointing a gun at two students and pulling the trigger (the gun did not fire).
Hours before news accounts of the shooting began to surface, SUNY New Paltz students and local residents were sharing news of the shooting, and expressing shock and horror, on social media. A few posts from Twitter on Sunday morning:
Update, 7:45 p.m. As of this update, there is still no further information on the identities of the victims, or news of the suspect. Pauline Liu of the Times Herald-Record interviewed some people who were in the area at the time of the shooting, including a SUNY New Paltz junior who was in the bar when gunfire broke out:
“I was in the bathroom - I heard three shots - they weren't very loud, but I knew right away that they were gun shots,” said Shaun Hanson, a junior at SUNY New Paltz, who was there with some members of the baseball team.
Hanson said that as police arrived, there was a crush of people trying to evacuate through the front door.
“I caught a glimpse of a guy lying on the floor as I was leaving and he didn't look good,” he added.
The Poughkeepsie Journal published a statement made by Kenneth Verney, the owner of Murphy's:
"The management and staff of Murphy's Restaurant and Pub are shocked and saddened by the events that took place in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 20," he said. "We express our heartfelt sympathy and extend our deepest condolences to the families that were affected by this tragic incident. We will continue to fully cooperate with the local and state agencies investigating this incident. At this time, we have no further comment."
Update, 8:40 p.m.: New Paltz police have identified the man who was killed in the gunfire at Murphy's as 29-year-old Poughkeepsie resident Ryan Gray.
The Daily Freeman's Brian Hubert spoke to several New Paltz residents who said that fights often break out late at night in the local bar scene:
Kale Markle, 18, who frequents the night scene in New Paltz, said he’s frequently seen trouble like fights, especially around 3 a.m., when the bars close and Main Street is teeming with students and others leaving the bars.
Daniel Baulito, 18, said he can recall an incident where his friends were beaten up by a group of people. The scene gets pretty intense between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. when the bars close, he added.