Homeowner shoots suspect during attempted home invasion in Stafford

According to Genesee County Sheriff's deputies, Charles Cooper, 36, forced his way into the home with what appeared to be a pistol. (Photo: Seneca County Sheriff's Office)

Stafford, N.Y. (WHAM) - A homeowner said he shot an intruder who was trying to rob him in his home in Stafford.

Our news partners at The Batavian said this happened on Clinton Street Road on Tuesday evening around 9:05 p.m.

According to Genesee County Sheriff's deputies, Charles Cooper, 36, forced his way into the home with what appeared to be a pistol. He allegedly threatened the two people who lived in the home and demanded money from them. The homeowner said he gave him the cash from his wallet.

In an exclusive interview with 13WHAM's Andrew Banas, the homeowner said Cooper then told him and his wife, who uses a wheelchair, to go downstairs. The man said he was afraid that he was going to kill them both, so he went down first - and used the opportunity to get his shotgun that was hidden in another room. When he walked back upstairs with the gun, the homeowner said Cooper had dropped the money and had bent down to pick it up. That's when the man took action.

"I just shot from my hip. I didn’t aim it or anything," said the homeowner, who did not want to be identified. "All I wanted to do was make sure he was disabled, because he threatened to kill us.”

When Cooper was hit, the homeowner glanced over and saw Cooper's handgun and the cash were sitting on the wheelchair. He then moved the wheelchair out of the way so Cooper couldn't reach it.

“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 man said.

Neither of the people living at the home were injured. The woman in the home immediately called 911.

Genesee County Sheriff's deputies and New York State Police arrived on scene and took Cooper into custody.

“I didn’t want to shoot him. I never want to hurt anyone," the homeowner said. "I even feel bad when I catch a mouse in my mouse trap.”

Cooper was treated at the scene and was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was listed in guarded condition at the hospital.

Charges are pending against Cooper.

Investigators said Cooper specifically targeted the Clinton Street Road house and that the home invasion was not random. There is no danger to the public, according to deputies.

Genesee County Sheriff's deputies have arrested Cooper before, charging both Charles and his brother Joshua Cooper with soliciting without a permit, scheme to defraud and conspiracy.

Back in February, deputies said the two performed driveway repair work at residences without the permission of the homeowners and then tried charging money from the owners.