Prosecution following cases of gun violence by homeowners in USA

Nfter two counts of gun violence in the United States, two men have been charged who recently shot people on their private property. A 65-year-old man from upstate New York shot and killed a 20-year-old white woman in a car in his driveway on Saturday after a group of friends accidentally turned down the wrong driveway. He was charged with murder on Monday.

Sofia Dreisbach

North American political correspondent based in Washington.

In the state of Missouri on the same day, an 84-year-old man was charged with aggravated assault and an armed felony for shooting a black youth last Thursday. The 16-year-old student wanted to pick up his younger brothers and had the wrong address. He survived two gunshot wounds to the head and right arm and was discharged from hospital on Sunday.

“There was clearly no threat”

In the case of the young woman who was shot, the man had fired two shots from his porch in rural upstate New York, one of which hit the car with four friends. Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy said Monday it’s easy to get lost in the area. The young women only drove up the driveway for a short time before realizing their mistake and wanting to turn back. The perpetrator had already shot her. Because he later refused to cooperate with the police, he was taken into custody with a special operation.

“There was clearly no threat from anyone in the vehicle,” the sheriff said Monday. The young women had driven about eight kilometers to Salem because of poor cell phone reception, where the 20-year-old’s resuscitation measures finally failed.

Prosecutor sees “racist component”

There is a “racial component” to the black teen’s case, according to Clay County Attorney Zachary Thompson. The perpetrator had stated that he “feared for his life” in the situation. He was lying in bed when the doorbell rang shortly before ten in the evening and shot the youth twice “within a few seconds of opening the door”. He had believed that this wanted to break in; there was no exchange of words. The victim told the hospital that he rang the bell and waited a while. When the door opened, the man immediately shot him. He is said to have shouted: “Don’t come here.”

The man who was shot asked for help from neighbors, who eventually called 911. About a thousand people demonstrated in Kansas City over the weekend after the homeowner was released and no charges were initially announced.

According to the White House, President Joe Biden called the student and his family over the weekend and expressed “hope for a speedy recovery.” Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted after the Kansas City incident that every child in America deserves to be safe. “No child should ever live in fear of being shot for ringing the wrong doorbell.”

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