An intruder allegedly put a gun in a homeowner’s face and demanded money before ordering him downstairs to a back room of the home. However, that was a big mistake, considering what the victim was keeping there.
Charles Cooper allegedly tried to rob a 76-year-old homeowner, who did not want to be identified. The accused thirty-six-year-old armed robber learned the hard way, however, that he had made a big mistake during the home invasion when he allegedly ordered the man and his wife of 50 years downstairs and into a back room of their rural home, not realizing what his victim was keeping there.
The life-changing chain of events allegedly began with a knock at the door of the 76-year-old man’s home on Clinton Street Road in Stafford, New York, shortly after 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night. When the homeowner, who had been watching television with his wife, went to see who was at the door of his Genesee County home, he was greeted by a man wearing a ski mask, who was later identified as Cooper.
“So I answered the door, which normally I will because you never know when somebody needs help,” the homeowner told 2 On Your Side. Cooper, who was armed, allegedly pushed the homeowner, forcing his way inside, where he then demanded money and threatened the homeowner with a gun. “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!'” the homeowner recalled.
“He had the gun in my face,” the man told WKBW. After he scraped up what cash he had and handed it to Cooper, the armed robber ordered the homeowner and his wife downstairs to a back room of their house. “Well, then I got worried because, you know, why would you want me to go down in the back room?” the homeowner recalled thinking. “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.'”
As the robber waited on the landing for the victim’s wheelchair-bound wife to get into the stair chair, the homeowner went down the stairs ahead of them. With only seconds to figure out how to defend himself and his wife from someone who he feared was about to kill them both, he quickly made his way to the room, knowing what was inside. Unbeknownst to Cooper, the man’s double-barrel shotgun was stored in that very location, and he had just enough time to get there first and grab it.
“I hurried up and went down, he didn’t follow me right away,” the homeowner recalled. After grabbing his gun off a shelf, the homeowner waited. “I backed up against the wall, reached up, and got the shotgun. I put it behind me. He couldn’t see it.” Soon enough, however, Cooper would realize his big mistake. When the homeowner saw the intruder again, he “shot from the hip” and Cooper “went down.”
“I didn’t aim it or anything,” the homeowner admitted. “All I wanted to do was make sure he was disabled because he threatened to kill us,” he added. “It’s not something you’re proud of. It’s not something you wanna do, but I was afraid he was gonna kill us.” Having only fired one barrel of the double-barrel shotgun, the homeowner issued a warning to the stranger, who was writhing in pain.
“I said, ‘You just lay still. I got another shell in here. You just lay still, be quiet, there’s help coming,” the man recalled. His wife called 911, and Charles Cooper was airlifted to the hospital. He was listed in guarded condition the following afternoon. After nearly two months in the hospital, Cooper was released, only to be arrested and charged with burglary, robbery, and grand larceny, WGRZ reported.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office said Charles Cooper used a metal revolver pellet gun to threaten homeowners and stole more than $3,000 in cash. However, this wasn’t his first run-in with the law. He and his brother Joshua Cooper had been arrested before. They were charged with soliciting without a permit, scheme to defraud, and conspiracy after they performed driveway repair work at residences without permission and then tried charging money from the homeowners.
The sheriff’s office also said Cooper had targeted the Clinton Street Road residence. Thankfully, though, the couple was not physically injured, and police determined that the gun used by the homeowner to defend himself and his wife against Cooper was legally owned. “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 mousetrap,” he added, which is kind of ironic since he had just helped capture a dirty rat who preyed on the elderly.