Buffalo pastor has message for parents after 12-year-old boy is shot

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A 12-year-old boy is recovering tonight from being shot Thursday afternoon. Police say the boy tried to break into a home and the homeowner shot him. It happened near the corner of Broadway and Quincy. Officers say the boy is expected to recover from his physical injuries.

A boot and backpack sit in the middle of Quincy street, as investigators place evidence markers in the area. Police say a 12-year-old boy was shot just before noon after trying to break into a home on the block.

Pastor James Giles with the Buffalo Peacemakers says he got a call about the shooting shortly after it happened.

“Hugely unfortunate circumstance. Young people are supposed to be in school, right? During that time,” said Pastor James Giles.

Officers say the homeowner shot the boy though it’s not clear what happened leading up to the shooting. He was hit by a birdshot, which is the smallest size of shot for shotguns. The boy was taken to ECMC and is expected to be okay. Detectives say this wasn’t a random act.

“Whether it was a random act or no, but nevertheless it was an act where violence occurred where a child could have lost his life,” said Giles.

It’s not clear if the child made it inside the home or if the homeowner was inside when he fired.

“Would a reasonable person believe that their home is being burglarized then they can engage in physical force, even deadly force and there’s no duty to retreat from your home,” said legal analyst Barry Covert.

“Individual homeowners have the right to protect themselves,” said Giles.

Giles says the Peacemakers and several other community groups offer mentoring and other services for teens and young children. He says the community has to work together to help prevent something like this from happening again.

“We got to do more in terms of teaching our children the rights of others, that we should not steal, do not take things that do not belong to us. Should not be trespassing, breaking into other people’s property,” said Giles.

Police haven’t released the homeowner’s name. No charges have been filed at this time.

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