Sunday 18 February 2018

Bowling alley shooting case halted until victims recover

Jason O'Brien

PROSECUTORS investigating the shooting of two Irishmen outside a bowling alley in New York are waiting until the two men are well enough to be interviewed before proceeding with the case.

Former policeman Michael Iavecchio (54) is accused of shooting the pair earlier this month, but the case against him was adjourned yesterday. Mr Iavecchio didn't speak during the brief hearing at Queens Criminal Court.

"The case has been adjourned. The District Attorney is continuing to investigate," his lawyer Stephen Worth said as both men left the court.

Gerard Hourigan (29) and Justin Donaghy (29) were with their American wives at the bowling alley in Queens when they were shot in the parking lot in the early hours of February 6.

Mr Iavecchio, a security man, was legally carrying a .380 Ruger LCP semi-automatic pistol when he earlier asked the men to leave the bowling alley after he caught them smoking inside the vestibule.

Mr Hourigan, who is originally from Bruff in Limerick, and Mr Donaghy, from Navan, Co Meath, are believed to have got into an argument with the security guard outside.

Mr Iavecchio, a policeman for 18 years until he retired, opened fire. Mr Hourigan was hit in the right side of the torso while Mr Donaghy was hit in the stomach. Both men remain in hospital, and family members have flown out to visit them.

Mr Donaghy is expected to be released from Elmhurst Hospital Centre in Queens in the coming days, while Mr Hourigan is expected to be treated for longer. Both have been charged with menacing behaviour and harassment and have been told to appear in court at the end of March. Both men are understood to be in the US legally.

Mr Iavecchio was initially charged with two counts of second-degree assault, but was subsequently charged with two counts of attempted murder and two of assault with a deadly weapon. He will reappear in court again on March 24.

Irish Independent

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