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Massena teen’s squirrel hunt on Stoughton Avenue leads to felony charges

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MASSENA - An apparently poorly planned squirrel hunt in the backyard of a Stoughton Avenue residence Saturday morning drew more than a dozen police officers to the location and resulted in felony and misdemeanor charges for the teenage shooter.

Village police charged William P. Rochefort, 18, of 107 Stoughton Ave., Massena, with a felony count of tampering with evidence, a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment and a discharging a firearm within 500 feet of dwelling.

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

Massena Village Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said village police, state police and St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department units responded to the scene at 107 Stoughton Ave. after receiving the initial complaint at 7:46 a.m. Saturday.

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

He said police recovered .22 calibre shell casings that had been fired from the rear of the property as well as a .22 long gun from inside the residence. “We located the .22 in the basement. They were obviously trying to hide it,” he said.

Rochefort reportedly told police he was shooting at a squirrel in the backyard of his residence. The second young man taken into custody at the scene was released without charges being filed, Mr. Currier said.

The village police chief said the .22 calibre long rifle had been hidden behind sheetrock inside a hole in the basement wall.

Approximately 15 officers from multiple agencies responded to the call.

Police have responded to a number of drug related violence calls in the neighborhood in recent months. Rochefort was turned over to his mother late Saturday morning.

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