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Fired Researcher Charged With Attempted Murder

A former assistant professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine has been charged with attempted second-degree murder after firing a shotgun at the school's dean outside a deli north of New York City, the New York Times reports. Dennis Charney, the MSSM dean, and another, unnamed individual sustained non-life-threatening injuries, it adds.

According to the Times, the assailant, Hengjun Chao, had been fired by Mount Sinai in 2010 for cause and the shooting appears to have been an act of revenge. "I think he came up here intent on shooting someone," says Charles Ferry, the town police chief.

Retraction Watch reports that Chao had been fired from MSSM for research misconduct. An investigating committee at Mount Sinai found that he told a postdoc to "switch data or omit data without any scientific or statistical basis for doing so." After being informed in May 2009 that he was going to be fired, Chao sued the hospital, Charney, and others in 2010, though the case was dismissed, and Chao lost the appeal, the Times says.

The Times adds that Chao is being held without bail.

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