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D.A. weighing charges in homeowner shooting of a child

No decision from the District Attorney on whether a homeowner who shot a child in the face will be charged.

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A Quincy Street man may or may not be charged with shooting a boy. Last month, police responded to the scene when the homeowner called to report he shot a 12-year-old boy who he believed was attempting to burglarize his home.

The 61-year-old homeowner has not been charged and Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said he is still gathering information from investigators in his office assigned to the case.

The boy was 12 at the time of the shooting. He is now 13-years-old. He was shot in the face and lost his right eye.

The boy and his friends threw a rock at a home, which led to the homeowner firing his 20-gauge shotgun. 2 On Your Side left a message for the homeowner.

Legal analyst Barry Covert said before charges can be filed, the prosecutor must determine if the homeowner was justified and was he reasonable to believe his home was going to be burglarized.

"If you are protecting your home, you are allowed to use physical force and if you are protecting it from a burglary or an arson, you can use deadly physical force," said Covert.

Several community members, including Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant want answers as to why the homeowner has not been charged. Grant says she thinks the homeowner needs to face charges, but she says police haven't released any information on their investigation into the incident.

Attorney Covert said it is a tough decision, "it's a very fact specific inquiry that the District Attorney's office has to make now, whether to bring it in front of a grand jury, or whether to bring charges in some form."

"On the one hand we sympathize with the homeowner, you don't want your home to be attacked, you don't want window broken, you don't know what's happening. On the other hand, is it an appropriate reaction from a reasonable person when all you know is that the window was broken and you shoot out the window," said Covert.