Home invasion suspect shot by homeowner in Stafford

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STAFFORD, NY (WIVB) The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate a home invasion on Tuesday night. The suspect is fighting for life after being shot by the homeowner.

The elderly homeowner on Clinton Street Road in the Town of Stafford was not up to being interviewed Thursday, but told News Four, “It’s a bad situation. We’re all victims in this.” He’s referring to himself, his wife and the suspect who’s in critical condition at Strong Hospital after the homeowner shot him during a home invasion at about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

“The suspect forced his way into the residence, was in possession of what appeared to be a firearm demanding cash,” said Genesee County Undersheriff Brad Mazur. “The homeowner was able to retrieve a long gun from his residence and shot the suspect.”

The suspect is Charles E. Cooper, 36 from Lodi, NY, who made headlines in February after being arrested for a paving scam in the Town of Darien. He remains in critical condition with charges pending from this terrifying home invasion.

As for the homeowner, one legal analyst does not think there would be any grounds to charge him for firing the shot. “He’s got a defense for shooting a burglar, he has a defense for being threatened with a weapon in his home, and he has a third defense for being the target of a robbery,” said Buffalo attorney Tom Burton, who has no direct involvement in the case but instructs on the legal aspects of shooting someone during a crime.

“You’ve gotta be careful with it, but this gentleman appears to have three different grounds of a defense, and the most important thing you have to remember; this statute doesn’t give you the right to affirmatively hurt someone, it’s a defense if you reasonably have to do it to stop a burglary or attempted burglary. There’s a fundamental difference,” said Burton. “It’s not a license to try to kill someone.”

The case remains under investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

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