Stafford, New York — An armed home invader was shot while trying to rob an elderly Stafford man and his wife on Tuesday.
The 76 year old victim who asked not to be identified, told 2 On Your Side, he and his wife were home watching TV at around 9 p.m. when he heard a knock on the door.
“So, I answered the door, which normally I will, because you never know when somebody needs help,” he said in the interview. “Soon as I cracked the door, he pushed me and the door back with a gun in my face, and he says, ‘This is a robbery. Get me your money or I’m gonna kill you!’”
Genesee County Sheriff’s Office said 36-year-old Charles Cooper pushed his way into the home armed with a pistol. He ordered the couple to turn over their valuables, then marched them towards the stairs.
“Well, then I got worried because, you know, why would you want me to go down in the back room? He came in the front door. If he was gonna leave, he’d go out that door. And I thought, ‘He’s gonna shoot us when we go down there,” the homeowner told 2 On Your Side.
With the victim in the basement, Cooper waited at the landing for the homeowner’s wheelchair bound wife to get into the stair chair she uses to go up and down the steps.
What the suspect didn’t know is he’d inadvertently put the homeowner in easy reach of an old double barrel shotgun loaded with bird shot.
“I never fired it. I didn’t even know if it would shoot or not,” he said. “Reached up, brought it down, put it behind my back because it’s a shotgun, you know?”
When Cooper came back into the room, “I just came up and shot from the hip. One barrel because it’s a double-barrel shotgun, and he went down.”
“I said, ‘You just lay still. I got another shell in here. You just lay still, be quiet, there’s help coming,” the homeowner said. “It’s not something you’re proud of. It’s not something you wanna do, but I was afraid he was gonna kill us,” the victim told 2 On Your Side.
Cooper was flown by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment of his shotgun wound and charges are pending against him at this time.
Cooper’s criminal history includes soliciting without a permit, scheme to defraud, conspiracy, and he and his brother Joshua Cooper were arrested earlier this year for repairing driveways at homes without permission and then attempting to charge for their “services.”
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