Man charged after fatally shooting suspect who allegedly tried to rob him in Queens: Police

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Thursday, June 1, 2023
Man kills suspect who allegedly tried to rob him in Queens: Police
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A man in Queens shot and killed another person who was allegedly trying to rob him, police say. NJ Burkett has the latest on the investigation.

KEW GARDENS, Queens (WABC) -- A man in Queens has been charged after he shot and killed another person who was allegedly trying to rob him, police reported.

Officials say the shooting happened in a driveway on 82nd Avenue in Kew Gardens at around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

The 32-year-old was armed with a sharp object and attempted to rob a 65-year-old of money and cigarettes, authorities said.

The 65-year-old, identified as Charles Foehner, pulled a sliver handgun and shot him as many as five times.

In surveillance video viewed by Eyewitness News, the assailant confronts Foehner from 40 feet. Foehner waves him off, raising his left hand, but the assailant continues to approach aggressively. With that, Foehner draws his gun from 20 feet. When the assailant waves an object and lunges, Foehner fires from 8 feet.

He then called 911, stating he was in a shooting and the gun was in his jacket pocket. He voluntarily surrendered to responding officers.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene and a pen was discovered in his right hand.

The 65-year-old was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm, according to a spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney's Office.

The Queens district attorney will need to determine whether it was a case of self-defense.

The 32-year-old had many prior arrests for robbery, burglary, drug possession, and other related charges.

Several of Foehner's neighbors told Eyewitness News they are sympathetic.

"He was protecting himself. So how can I blame him? 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," neighbor Vercelle Evans said.

In the minutes before the shooting, investigators believe the assailant went on a rampage, inexplicably smashing windows in two neighboring buildings. Foehner lives around the corner with his wife, where he is well-liked. Sources say he has an active NYPD firearms permit.

Angel Rodriguez lives down the hall.

"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," neighbor Rodriguez said.

Katz says the case is complicated.

"This is a complicated case and we're going to review the evidence," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said before the charges came down. "We just went to the crime scene. I will have comments for you after we investigate it."

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