CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- The suspect in the August shooting in front of a prominent Chappaqua deli has been indicted in connection with the incident, according to the Westchester County District Attorney's office.
Hengjun Chao, a 49-year-old resident of Tuckahoe, was arraigned today in connection with the indictment, the announcement adds. He was charged with one count of second-degree attempted murder, which is a felony; one count of first-degree criminal use of a fire arm, which is a felony; and one count of first-degree assault, which is also a felony.
Chao is alleged to have shot Dr. Dennis Charney, on the morning of Aug. 26 after he had just left Lange’s Little Store & Delicatessen. The suspect was situated at a parking lot across the street, the announcement adds.
"When the victim left the deli, the defendant retrieved a loaded shotgun from the trunk of his car," the district attorney's office alleges in its statement. "He walked towards the victim, took aim and fired one shot, hitting him in the shoulder and chest area. The defendant remained there and was subsequently arrested by New Castle Police officers."
Charney is dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and was on a committee had fired Chao, who worked as a researcher at the school, in 2009 following an investigation into alleged data fraud. Chao unsuccessfully sued Mount Sinai and Charney in federal court over the handling of his dismissal.
Charney was wounded in the shooting and hospitalized for five days, according to the district attorney's office. A second individual, who is not alleged to have been a target, was also wounded in the shooting.
The District Attorney's office also claims that Chao confessed to the shooting.
Chao pleaded not guilty and his bail was set at $1 million, the District Attorney announced, adding that his next court date is on Nov. 1.
Lange's is a landmark deli, and is best known for being patronized by Bill and Hillary Clinton, who are Chappaqua's most famous residents. Hillary Clinton, who is the Democratic nominee for president, as well as Bill Clinton, a former president, each visited the staff at Lange's in the aftermath of the shooting.
Previous coverage of the shooting can be read here.
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