Image source: YouTube video, WPIX - Screenshot
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The 65-year-old man who blew away a would-be mugger Wednesday in Queens escaped with his life and property, but may now stand to lose his freedom.
Charles Foehner was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm after voluntarily turning himself in following a fatal shooting at 123-20 82nd Avenue early Wednesday morning. Foehner, who had a clean record, has an active NYPD firearms permit for a shotgun — just not for the revolver that may have saved his life.
Extra to the weapons charges, the New York Daily News indicated authorities are now looking into whether Foehner should similarly be hit with murder charges.
Outside a parking garage in Kew Gardens, the 65-year-old was allegedly confronted by 32-year-old Cody Gonzalez, born Cody Baum.
Sources told WPIX that Gonzalez had tried breaking into various buildings, smashed several windows and doors, and busted an intercom system. Gonzalez also had an extensive criminal record, with arrests for robbery, burglary and other charges.
In the darkness, Foehner reportedly mistook a pen in the suspect's hand for a knife, but was otherwise certain of his intent. Foehner told police that Gonzalez aggressively demanded money and cigarettes.
In surveillance video of the encounter obtained by WPIX, Gonzalez can be seen aggressively stalking Foehner, initially confronting his would-be victim at a distance of 40 feet. Foehner waves off his would-be mugger to no avail. Gonzalez advances another 20 feet closer, at which point Foehner reportedly draws his silver revolver.
Despite Foehner's previous cautions and the gleaming threat of ballistic self-defense, Gonzalez allegedly lunged forward. According to WABC-TV, Foehner opened fire with just eight feet between them, plugging the 32-year-old as many as five times.
Following the shooting, Foehner called 911, detailed what happened and noted that he had a gun in his possession. He then waited and turned himself into the responding officers.
"This is a complicated case and we're going to review the evidence," said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
For Foehner's neighbors, it's not that complicated.
"He was protecting himself. So how can I blame him?" said Vercelle Evans. "You know, unfortunately, the guy had to lose his life. I don't wish that on anybody. But this is the circumstances when you randomly just rob people. You never know what you're going to get."
Angel Rodriguez told WABC, "If video shows that, you know, he was acting in in self-defense and the guy was actually trying to harm him, then I you know, I believe we should be able to protect ourselves."
Some of Gonzalez's relatives similarly reckon the alleged mugger's intended victim is not deserving of blame.
"We don't fault the shooter," Stephan Gonzalez told the Daily News. "We all feel that Cody should have been in a psych facility. If anything, the state failed him."
Anthony Aguilar, the alleged mugger's cousin, said, "If he tried to rob him, the guy’s only defending himself. ... You can’t blame him for defending himself."
Video: Man shoots, kills alleged robber in Queensyoutu.be
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.