LONG VALLEY, NJ — “Michael Barisone shot me.” That’s what Lauren Kanarak, an accomplished dressage rider living and training on Barisone’s farm, said in a 911 call placed several moments after he allegedly shot her twice in the chest, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained and reviewed by Patch.
Formerly coach and athlete, Kanarak trained under Barisone at the prestigious Barisone Dressage facility in a quiet corner of Long Valley. Barisone now faces two counts of attempted murder after allegedly shooting Kanarak twice in the chest, and trying to shoot at her fiance, identified in court documents as R.G.
A long-simmering conflict between Barisone and Kanarak came to a boil last Wednesday, when Barisone went to the home Kanarak and her fiance rented on Barisone’s Hawthorne Farms, police documents reveal. After a brief conversation with the fiance, Barisone and Kanarak began talking outside of the house to each other, the fiance told police.
It’s not clear what the conversation was about, but it was at this point that Barisone is accused of shooting Kanarak at close range in the chest.
Barisone also attempted to shoot R.G., court documents say, but missed and hit the home instead.
R.G. tackled Barisone, holding him down until police arrived. During the struggle, R.G. broke his wrist. Police say they found R.G. holding Barisone down when they got to the farm, with a black-and-pink handgun underneath Barisone.
Kanarak was taken to Morristown Medical Center with life threatening injuries. She is still in the hospital as of Monday morning, Edward David, a lawyer for the Kanarak family, told Patch.
Barisone was arrested and taken to the Morris County Correctional Facility. “I had a good life,” Barisone said several times as he was being handcuffed and led away from his farm, court documents say.
He faces two charges of attempted murder, and two charges of possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.
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It’s not clear if Barisone has retained a lawyer. Calls and messages placed to his phone on Thursday were not returned. He will have a pretrial detention hearing on Wednesday morning.
“The [Kanarak] family will have a statement later this week after Mr. Barisone’s bail hearing which we understand will occur later in the week,” David said. “There is nothing to say about his [SafeSport] suspension – he shot Lauren—I suppose that speaks for itself.” SafeSport is an independent agency that oversees abuse complaints in the national athletic federations that oversee Olympic sports, such as the United States Equestrian Federation.
Barisone is currently ineligible for any United States Equestrian Federation events, following an indefinite SafeSport suspension.