LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - Families coming to meet Santa were terrified when a gun went off inside Santa Claus' Christmas Cottage in Lockport.
Three days before Christmas, a gun shot rang out here. The bullet put a hole in the cottage floor. Santa and everyone around him were evacuated.
Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour said, "A firearm went off. It really confused a lot of people, including the owner of the gun himself."
The gun was a .45 caliber Colt semi-automatic pistol carried by Christopher Baer of Middleport. He's a National Guard Reservist who served two tours in Iraq, and had taken his young daughter to meet Santa. He is also a firearms range instructor and a firefighter. Sheriff Voutour says Baer was licensed to carry the weapon.
"We looked at everything. [It was] secure, to the extent that it was in his holster. It was concealed. We just think it was a freak accident," he said.
Niagara County District Attorney Mike Violani told News 4 the investigation determined that Baer's gun was probably struck by the foot of his 3-year-old daughter, causing the gun to accidentally misfire. The DA says no criminal conduct took place, and therefore no charges were filed.
While some may question why a person can take a loaded gun into a Lockport Park area, no laws were broken. Baer had no comment when News 4 reached him on the phone.
A man who was wrongly convicted of second degree murder in 2009 has been set free after spending four years in prison.
Investigators have pieced together who is responsible for dumping a dog on the side of the road inside a zipped up Coors Light thermal bag.
State Police need your help finding the pickup truck driver who pinned a mother against her vehicle as she was loading her baby and young son into it and then fled the scene.
Though less than an inch of lake effect snow appears to have fallen in Orchard Park, in southern Erie County and further south it's a much different story.
The district received more than $5.5 million on Tuesday, which covers its share of revenues from the Seneca Allegany Casino.
Buffalo's running community has lost an icon. John Beishline has died.