FREDONIA, N.Y. - No charges will be filed against a Chautauqua County homeowner who shot a man allegedly trying to break into his home late last month.
Acting District Attorney Patrick Swanson released a statement Tuesday saying the decision was the culmination of a complete investigation into the incident. It revealed the unnamed homeowner acted within the section of law that deals with the particulars of justification when using physical force.
Police say the homeowner shot a man who was trying to force his way into his home on Liberty Street in the early morning hours of April 23.
The homeowner called 911 and told police that he was awakened by a man and woman inside his closed porch who were pounding on his door.
According to Fredonia Police, the homeowner answered the door armed with a legally-owned handgun, and the two suspects pushed their way in. Police say the three exchanged words, and the man repeatedly told the pair to leave as he showed his weapon.
As the male and female suspect attempted to leave in a car, the homeowner went out onto the front steps to try and get vehicle information. The homeowner told police the man jumped out of the driver's seat, charged the homeowner and threatened him.
The homeowner fired several shots and hit the male suspect in the legs.
The injured suspect then got back into the vehicle and drove off.
After the homeowner called police, officers located and stopped the vehicle in the downtown district. The suspect who was shot was first treated at the scene and then taken to Erie County Medical Center by Starflight.
Swanson said charges are pending for an alleged criminal trespass in the case, but would not comment further.
"At the end of the day, no one wins in a situation such as this," said Swanson. "On the one hand we have a person shot. On the other, we have a responsible gun owner having to take action in a way that no responsible gun owner desires."