WALLKILL NY — The 27-year-old man who allegedly discharged a single shot from a legal firearm inside the Galleria Mall, injuring a mother discharged a single shot from a legal firearm inside the Galleria Mall on Sunday afternoon, pleaded not guilty Wednesday.
Michael Perez-Rodriguez, of Forest City, Pennsylvania was hit with a felony charge of reckless endangerment and two misdemeanors of assault. Perez-Rodriguez appears to have fled the mall with this wife and two children after the gun went off. He later turned himself into Monticello Police. When he appeared in court Wednesday, the judge noted how he changed his appearance by shaving his beard before he surrendered to police. He was then remanded on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond.
The Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler did field questions from the press on why more serious charges or higher bail was not applied in this case.
"I don’t know what seems low about it,” said Hoovler. "That individual was allowed to carry this gun. And because of that, no criminal possession of a weapon charge can be brought in this case."
Perez-Rodriguez grew up in the Fallsburg area. He does have a New York and Pennsylvania firearm permit and a concealed carry permit. He has no prior criminal record. But investigators refused to comment on whether the discharge was accidental or how the gun was triggered.
The single shot did result in chaos at the mall and a SWAT response during one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.
Perez-Rodriguez’s defense attorney stated he is a father of two with a third child on the way. He will be on probationary monitoring pending his next court appearance which is set for Monday at 4 p.m.