Boy charged in tree-trimmer shooting Youth contends he was defending home

July 29, 1992|By Knight-Ridder News Service

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- A 9-year-old Fort Wayne boy who used a shotgun to blast a tree trimmer out of a tree in his front yard this week has been charged with criminal recklessness.

The boy told police he shot at the man to defend his property and that he just intended to scare the victim.

The youth, who is being held at a youth center, was taken into custody after the incident and was removed from his parents' home. He will be held until the welfare department completes an investigation of his family, a spokesman said.

David C. Holmes, 27, was in fair condition yesterday at a local hospital.

Mr. Holmes was working Monday in a tree on the boy's family's property clearing limbs away from power lines for Indiana Michigan Power when the boy came out of his house and told Mr. Holmes to leave the tree.

A police spokesman said Mr. Holmes tried to explain to the boy repeatedly that it was OK for him to be in the tree. The boy insisted that he leave and threatened to call police, the spokesman said.

Mr. Holmes told the boy that he should call the police, the spokesman said, and the boy went back inside the house.

Minutes later, the boy fired a 12-gauge shotgun through the screen of a front window.

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