A 76-year-old New York homeowner was forced to shoot a ski-mask wearing intruder who entered his home armed with a gun.
Genesee County police said 36-year-old Charles Cooper forced his way into the home on Clinton Street Road shortly after 9 p.m. on Tuesday and ordered the homeowner to give him money, WKBW News reported.
The homeowner said he heard someone knocking on his door and when he opened it, the intruder shoved his way in.
“He had the gun in my face,” said the homeowner who initially complied with Cooper’s demands for money and emptied his wallet.
Cooper ordered the homeowner and his wife, who is confined to a wheelchair, to go downstairs, ABC 13 News reported.
Fearing for their lives, the homeowner, who had a shotgun downstairs, went down first and was able to retrieve his gun without the intruder seeing him.
He headed back upstairs with the gun and was able to shoot Cooper while the home invader was bending down to grab some cash he dropped.
“I hurried up and went down, he didn’t follow me right away. I backed up against the wall, reached up and got the shotgun. I put it behind me. He couldn’t see it. He turned around, dropped his money and he reached down, and I shot from the hip. He went down,” the homeowner said.
The homeowner added, “I just shot from my hip. I didn’t aim it or anything. All I wanted to do was make sure he was disabled, because he threatened to kill us.”
Once the intruder was down, the homeowner saw Cooper’s gun and the cash sitting on the wheelchair and he moved both out of the intruder’s reach, while his wife called police.
“I stood there, I talked to him and said, ‘Stay still. Stay still. I have another round in here, I don’t want to shoot you again,’” the homeowner said.
He added, “I didn’t want to shoot him. I never want to hurt anyone. I even feel bad when I catch a mouse in my mouse trap.”
Neither of the homeowners were injured in the incident and the shotgun used to shoot Cooper was legally owned.
When police and first responders arrived on the scene, they took Cooper into custody and he was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.
Cooper is listed in guarded condition and remains in the hospital.
Police said this was not a random break-in and alleged Cooper targeted the home on purpose.
Charges are pending against Cooper and police said this is not their first encounter with Cooper.
He and his brother Joshua Cooper have been charged in the past with soliciting without a permit, scheming to defraud and conspiracy charges.