By Ted Waddell
NORTH BRANCH August 20, 2002 A 14-year-old teen from Brooklyn allegedly shot and wounded a 17-year-old girl named Angela from North Branch around 8 p.m. Thursday evening, said police. Authorities are calling the incident accidental.
According to Sullivan County Sheriff Daniel Hogue, Colin Michael Smith, 14, of NYC was charged with two felonies, assault in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree. He was remanded to the Sullivan County Youth Department. Smith is scheduled to appear in the Town of Callicoon Court today at 7 p.m.
Sheriff Hogue said Smith told law enforcement authorities the local teenager was sitting on his lap in a secluded wooded spot by the north branch of the Callicoon Creek in back of the girls house when the .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun he was carrying went off accidentally, wounding her in the thigh.
The girl was treated at Callicoon hospital and released, said Sheriff Hogue. She is a very lucky young lady.
The New York State Police also responded to the scene of the shooting: crime scene investigators from the ID section in Middletown, and BCI investigators from Liberty.
Hogue said several youths appeared to be involved in the incident, although only one was charged. The shooting is under investigation.
We are still talking [to the girls] father, he added.
Several volunteer firefighters responded to the scene, located in back of a house near the North Branch Trading Post on County Road 122. They assisted police and emergency medical services personnel by rigging lighting at the scene.
One girl got shot in the leg by another kid, said 16-year-old Nick Conklin, a member of the North Branch Fire Department. I was holding a flashlight for the people carrying the stretcher up from down by the river. . . . She wasnt very happy.
According to fellow firefighter Jason Welton, he arrived at the scene after the injured girl had been taken by ambulance to the hospital.
The buzz is it was an accidental thing, said Welton, adding he had seen the handgun reportedly used in the shooting.
It was a Hi Mark 22 [caliber] long rifle, said Welton. It was one of them old Rugar-looking things. It was rusty as hell.