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Chappaqua Deli Frequented By Clintons Reopens Day After Shooting

Lange's Little Store & Delicatessen in Chappaqua, pictured the day after a shooting that took place by its entrance. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Hengjun Chao, the suspect in Monday's shooting at Lange's deli in Chappaqua, is escorted by New Castle Police to his arraignment. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Dennis S. Charney, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Tuesday afternoon appeared to be an outwardly normal one for Lange's Little Store & Delicatessen in Chappaqua after it reopened a day after a shooting by its entrance made international headlines.

Foot traffic was steady, as patrons came and received their orders. There were no other reporters to be found in the vicinity, a stark contrast from the day before. Glass panes for the entranceway, which had been damaged due to the activity, had been hastily replaced.

Yet full normality eludes the Chappaqua institution, which is best known for being a place to eat for Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Owner Richard Lange, for instance, spent time talking with a New Castle Police detective, as law enforcement's investigation into the shooting continues.

Lange, who has spoken to Daily Voice in the past, declined to comment for this story due to the criminal investigation still being active.

Chappaqua is a hamlet, or section of, the town of New Castle.

Meanwhile, New Castle Police released a follow up announcement on the shooting that included a mix of new details and a recap of earlier ones.

Police allege that the shooting suspect, 49-year-old Tuckahoe resident Hengjun Chao, fired a shotgun right outside of Lange's on Monday morning. He is accused of shooting Dennis Charney, a 65-year-old Chappaqua resident, while he was walking on a sidewalk after leaving the deli. Chao, police allege, wounded another passerby, an unnamed 56-year-old Chappaqua man. Both victims survived and were taken to Westchester Medical Center, police added.

Police added that Chao was subsequently found in a parking lot across the street from Lange's and a loaded Mossberg 500 shotgun was discovered in his vehicle.

"Preliminary investigation indicates that Charney is known to Chao and was the intended victim of the shooting," police added.

Federal court documents show that Chao, a former assistant professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, was fired by Charney in 2009 over alleged data manipulation for his scientific research. 

Chao sued Mount Sinai, Charney and other former colleagues in 2010 after is firing, denying that he committed data fraud and claiming that the school's internal-review process was biased. The suit was eventually tossed.

“This is an extremely disturbing event," Mount Sinai Health System CEO Kenneth Davis said in a statement provided to the media. "Fortunately, Dr. Charney's injuries are not life-threatening and we expect he will fully recover. I am speaking on behalf of the Mount Sinai community in extending our best wishes to Dr. Charney and his family. An arrest has been made, and the individual in custody is a former Mount Sinai faculty member who was terminated for cause in 2010. This is a police matter, and further question should be directed to the appropriate authorities.”

Chao has been charged with a count of second-degree attempted murder, which is a felony. He was arraigned on Monday evening by New Castle Town Justice Noah Sorkin, who issued an order of protection, which requires that the suspect stay away from Charney for a year. 

The suspect, who was remanded to Westchester County Jail in Valhalla, is due back in town court on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m.

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