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Community outraged after homeowner shoots 12-year-old boy, no charges yet

Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 18:30:28-05

A small group of protestors, led by Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, gathered outside the district attorney's office to ask for more information about the investigation into a November 17 shooting of a 12-year-old boy. The group called for police and the district attorney's office to file charges against the homeowner.

The shooting happened on Quincy Street near Broadway around noon. Police sources tell 7 Eyewitness News two children were together and one of them broke a window to a home. The homeowner fired a shotgun, loaded with birdshot, and hit one of the kids, according to sources.

"This is not the wild wild west," Grant said. "This is Buffalo, New York in 2017. We shouldn't have young kids being shot. The fact is, we shouldn't have anybody being shot."

The boy is still in the hospital, has lost one of his eyes and might lose the other, according to Grant.

"They're lives being lost because they threw a rock? You can replace a window, but you can never replace a life," Grant said.

Under New York State law, a homeowner can use deadly force if someone is burglarizing the home or is attempting to do so.

It's not clear what exactly the boy was doing near the property before he was shot.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn and his team have been investigating the case alongside Buffalo Police. He's still trying to gather all the facts to determine what exactly was happening.

What the boy was doing and what the homeowner reasonably thought was happening will both be crucial factors in determining whether to file charges.

"Once I get a complete picture of what exactly occurred here, then I have to analyze that with the legal analysis of justification," Flynn said.

He also responded to concerns from the protestors that the investigation was moving too slowly.

"I put two of my top prosecutors on this case," Flynn explained. "We have been working with the Buffalo Police Department since day one."

The homeowner has not been charged with any crimes, but the investigation is ongoing.