MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A history of disputes between a former Olympic equestrian athlete and two people who rented from him at a farm where he trains riders apparently turned violent this week, leaving a woman with life-threatening gunshot wounds.
This May 2009 photo shows Michael Barisone at his equestrian farm in Washington Township, N.J. The former U.S. Olympic dressage athlete is accused of shooting a woman at his New Jersey farm where he trains equestrian athletes. Prosecutors in Morris County, on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, charged the 54-year-old with two counts of attempted murder and weapons offenses. (Nancy Jaffer via AP)
Prosecutors in Morris County on Thursday charged Michael Barisone, 54, with two counts of attempted murder and weapons offenses.
According to a criminal complaint, a woman called 911 Wednesday afternoon and said Barisone had shot her twice.
Police arrived to find the woman bleeding on the ground with wounds to her chest, and another man lying on top of Barisone. Barisone had fired at the man as well but had missed, according to the complaint, and the man had subdued him until police arrived.
The woman's injuries were described as serious and life-threatening.
According to the complaint, the victims lived at the farm, and there had been multiple recent calls to police from the residence because of what it described as “landlord-tenant related issues.”
Before he was removed from the scene, Barisone was overheard repeating the phrase, "I had a good life," according to the complaint.
According to his website, Barisone was a member of the 2008 Olympic team and the 1997 gold medal-winning Nations Cup team in Hickstead, England. It says he has coached Olympians and is a member of the U.S. Equestrian Federation's board of directors.
It was not immediately possible to reach Barisone, whose voice mailbox was full.
The Morris County prosecutor’s office didn’t have a record of an attorney listed for Barisone on Friday, and an initial court appearance hadn’t yet been scheduled.
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