Ellenville hospital shooting suspect search focuses on Napanoch area; Vernooy Kill State Forest remains closed

Daily Freeman-2 years before

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Spokesperson Kevin Frazier said Vernooy Kill State Forest remained closed Sunday, and he was not sure when the park would reopen. 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation closed the state forest Saturday as police and park rangers continued to search for Stuart. 

...ice-close-vernooy-kill-state-forest-in-search-of-ellenville/article_34416966-c3f8-11e8-96ab-0f463eb009a1.html">closed the state forest Stuart, 42, was seen wearing a flannel shirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers, the release said.

A statement from the hospital said the shooting occurred in the emergency department and involved a patient. It said the hospital later reopened.

In a Facebook posting, police described Stuart as 5-foot-8 and about 155 pounds, and they said he last was seen wearing jeans, white sneakers, a hospital gown and a black coat with white stripes.

Police said he fled the scene after the shooting in a white Dodge Ram 1500. The truck was found later, unoccupied, on Lundy Lane in Napanoch, police said.

State police said New York City Department of Environmental Protection police confronted a man near the truck and that he fired four to five shots from an unknown type of semiautomatic pistol. Police did not report anyone being struck by that gunfire, and they did not identify Stuart as the triggerman in the incident.

Of Stuart, police said he is "believed to be armed and dangerous" and should not be approached.

"believed to be armed and dangerous" The Freeman's online archive shows a November 2016 arrest of Joshua K. Stuart, 40, of Kerhonkson, for an armed robbery three months earlier at a pharmacy in Kerhonkson. Police said at the time that he wore a mask, held a pharmacist at gunpoint and demanded prescription medications and money.

State police spokesman Trooper Steve Nevel declined to comment about Stuart's criminal history.

The statement issued by the hospital referred to Friday's incident as "isolated" and said no other patients or any staff members were involved.

The hospital said a crisis support team was assisting people in the building in the aftermath of the incident.

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