WHITESBORO, N.Y. – Whitesboro police say someone was accidentally shot with a flare gun in a garage Wednesday night, before the flare landed and caught a couch on fire.
Police were called to 62 Main St. around 11:30 p.m., where they found 20-year-old Dylan O’Brien with facial injuries caused by the flare after it was accidentally discharged.
There were four people in the garage at the time of the incident, ages 17 – 20, who all told police the couch caught fire after the flare went off and landed on the couch. Whitesboro Fire Department was called to the scene to put out the fire.
O’Brien was taken to the hospital after the incident to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
O'Brien spoke to News Channel 2 Thursday afternoon. His face badly bruised but says he is very lucky to have not been hurt worse, but he wants to make it clear that this was an accident, "I was chilling in my garage with a couple of my friends just playing the PS4 and chilling and my friend was playing with the flare gun and it was fired and he didn’t mean to do it on purpose. There was nothing intentional. It was an accident and as you guys can see I’m all right, I’m not hurt that bad. I just want everyone to know it was not intentional. He did not do it on purpose."
Police say when it came to asking who actually fired the flare gun, the witnesses had conflicting statements.
While investigating, police say they discovered that several people were actually living inside the garage, and a Whitesboro codes enforcement officer was called to the scene. The officer declared the garage area unsafe, and posted a notice prohibiting occupancy.
O'Brien, his mother, and father who both also spoke to News Channel 2 off-camera, all say no one is living in the garage. They say the garage was being used as a game room, where occasinally someone may have been out there and may have fallen asleep, but they say everyone lives inside the actual house.
O'Brien says he and his family feel targeted by neighbors and addressed some neighbors as he was speaking with us, "You all sit there and bully my mother...all of these years to get us out the village and we're still standing here."
Police say the investigation is ongoing.