NEW PALTZ- Shots were fired early Thursday morning in downtown New Paltz, leaving two police officers injured. Police identified the shooter as Tom Bozydaj, 30,of New Paltz. Bozydaj fired more than 50 rounds of shots in the area surrounding Main St. and Route 32 before being apprehended by officers.
Officers were dispatched to the area when, at 3am, 911 calls came from residents of Route 32 north, reporting very loud gunshots. Upon entering the scene, police learned the suspect was shooting an AK-47 assault rifle.
"After the first three or four calls the 911 center was inundated with calls as the suspect continued up and down Main Street shooting" said Captain Harry VanVliet of the Ulster county sheriffs department. VanVliet said that the suspect's first target was an occupied police vehicle. As more officers arrived on the scene, they also came under fire.
The suspect was difficult to apprehend because of his knowledge of the New Paltz downtown area.
"As scary as it may seem we heard that he was hiding in alleyways, the backyards of residents, we found bullet holes in the windows of some residence" said VanVleet. "Right now we have no reports of injuries in private residences but we'll confirm that as we continue the investigation. "
Deputy Jeffery Queipo was shot in the hand while trying to convince curious local residents to return inside. When Queipo turned his back towards the suspect, Bozydaj shot approximately ten rounds at the officer, from behind a fence nearly 60 yards away.
"Deputy Queipo was transported to St Francis hospital where he's being evaluated at the emergency room," said VanVleet. "An assault rifle makes a lot of noise, there were actually civilians outside holding coffee cups. Deputy Queipo was attempting to convince...