20-Year-Old Charged In Accidental Shooting

LEON – The man whose gun was involved in the accidental shooting of an 8-year-old Amish boy was charged Thursday after police discovered he lacked a valid New York state pistol permit and that the gun was not registered.

Eli W. Wengerd, 20, of Leon was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He is scheduled to appear in Leon Court at a later date.

Wengerd’s relationship to the victim was not released.

On Dec. 12, the 8-year-old victim was shot in the chest while playing with a .22-caliber gun with his brothers.

According to Captain Robert Buchhardt of the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. inside the boy’s home, when one of the boy’s brothers allegedly picked up the gun and shot him.

“It appears to be an accident,” Buchhardt said at the time. “They didn’t know the gun was loaded.”

The 8-year-old was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, where he was last reported to be in stable condition.