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Ti man pleads not guilty

TICONDEROGA - A Ticonderoga man pleaded not guilty May 12 to shooting a state police officer in a foiled suicide attempt.

Donald L. McCray, 39, of Delano Road was arraigned in Franklin County Court on charges of assault on a police officer and second-degree criminal use of a firearm.

He is accused of shooting Trooper George M. Stannard, 33, of the High Peaks barracks on Aug. 28 as the two struggled for control of a muzzle-loading rifle while in a boat on the Raquette River.

Stannard was shot in the right hand.

McCray pleaded not guilty and was returned to county jail without bail.

The incident began when McCray was reportedly threatening suicide during several calls to the switchboard at Sunmount Developmental Disabilities Services in Tupper Lake.

Police began to search for him as more calls came in to Essex County Enhanced 911 dispatchers.

McCray was found in a lean-to along the water's edge, but he hopped in a canoe to get away.

Stannard, DEC Forest Ranger Julie Harjung and Tupper Lake Police Officer Dustin Fleishman followed in a DEC boat.

Stannard tried to talk with McCray, who was holding the muzzle loader to his own head.

When the distraught man moved the weapon away for a split second, the uniformed officers grabbed for the gun. During the struggle, Stannard was shot in the hand.

McCray was then arrested without further incident.

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