Former Olympian Charged With Attempted Murder in Connection With Shooting on His Farm

A former U.S. Olympian was charged with two counts of attempted murder Thursday, Aug. 8 after a shooting was reported at his New Jersey farm, authorities said.

Michael Barisone, 54, was part of the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team in the 2008 Olympics in China. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release that he has been charged with attempted murder as well as weapons charges related to the incident.

It was not immediately clear if Barisone had an attorney.

Barisone is an active member of the United States Equestrian Federation, a spokesperson for the organization confirmed. The USEF could not comment on the case or the charges.

Washington Township police were called to Barisone Dressage Wednesday at 2:13 p.m. after receiving a 911 call about a woman with gunshot wounds, according to the release. Authorities also found an injured man at the scene and recovered a gun.

Authorities did not identify the victims in the incident and there was no further information on their conditions as of Thursday night.

Washington Township Mayor Matt Murello said he was shocked, telling CNN, “something like this is extremely unheard of—we’ve been nationally ranked as one of the safest municipalities over the past four or five years.”

Barisone has not appeared in court at this time, the Morris County Prosecutor’s office told CNN.

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How to Increase Your Chance of Survival When a Shooting Breaks Out: Experts

After three mass shootings in the span of a week, experts have stepped up to give the public advice on how to better survive when an active shooter runs wild.

Brad Engmann is ranked as one of the top competitive practical pistol shooters on the West Coast. He’s also co-owner of Threat Scenarios, a company that trains people to build skills for defense, recreation, and competition.

“If shooting actually starts, the first reaction of many people is going to be to freeze, try to figure out what’s going on. We don’t want to encourage that. We want to encourage people to spend a few minutes having a plan, and talking about it with their family in advance so that they can improve their reaction time,” said Engmann.

NTD Photo
Brad Engmann pretends to be a shooter looking for targets in an office space in Walnut Creek, California, on Aug. 6, 2019. (Ilene Eng/NTD)
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Kevin Holman demonstrates attacking the shooter from a chokepoint and gains control of the weapon in Walnut Creek, California, on Aug. 6, 2019. (Ilene Eng/NTD)

He said people should have basic situational awareness that includes self-defense. People should also know where the exits and their family members are.

Here are some tips for what to do when confronting a shooter.

“Based on your proximity to the shooter, there are going to be a few steps that you walk through,” said Engmann. “The first is to run if you can, break line of sight from that shooter, so if he can’t see you, he probably can’t shoot you. It’s not to say that his bullets can’t pass through what’s between you and the shooter, it’s to say that you are going to be a harder target to hit, especially if you are moving.”

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Kevin Holman demonstrates how to gain control of a smaller weapon like a handgun by grabbing it with both hands and rotating it back towards the shooter’s ear in Walnut Creek, California, on Aug. 6, 2019. (Ilene Eng/NTD)

A crucial part in an active shooter situation is controlling the distance.

In a scenario like an office space, people should hide by places like doorways, known as chokepoints, and attempt to lead the shooter closer before taking control of the weapon.

When people are right next to the shooter, they can try to gain control of the weapon grabbing the weapon, kicking and headbutting the shooter until his or her grip is loosened.

“If there are other people around, this is where I say ‘help me, help me, grab it, tackle him, help me!’ So I can get them involved,” said Kevin Holman, a hand-to-hand instructor at Threat Scenarios.

Similar tactics can be applied to smaller weapons.

“I’m going to grab the wrist, and I’m going to grab the underneath of the gun. I’m going to rotate this back to his ear. I’m going to use the leverage. When I break that grip, now I have the weapon,” said Holman.

Engmann says no one is able to pinpoint accurately what motivates active shooters, since all situations are different. But he recommends the public to be aware of potential signs and report the person to a psychologist, superior, or law enforcement.

CNN contributed to this report.