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Massena teen’s squirrel hunt leads to felony charge

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MASSENA — An apparent squirrel hunt in the backyard of a Stoughton Avenue residence Saturday morning drew more than a dozen police officers and resulted in felony and misdemeanor charges for the teenage shooter.

Village police charged William P. Rochefort, 18, of 107 Stoughton Ave., with a felony count of tampering with evidence and misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling. He was later turned over to his mother.

Police responded to multiple reports of shots fired shortly before 8 a.m.

“Subsequently, we took two people into custody,” said village Police Chief Timmy J. Currier. “They were initially less than cooperative, but they eventually came up out of the residence.”

He said police recovered .22-caliber shell casings that had been fired from the property’s rear as well as a .22-caliber long gun from inside the residence.

Police said Mr. Rochefort told them he was shooting at a squirrel in the backyard. The second young man taken into custody was released without being charged, Mr. Currier said.

About 15 officers from the village police, state police and St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department responded.

Police have responded to a number of drug-related violence calls in the neighborhood in recent months.

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