The Ramsey County Attorney's office charged a St. Paul man today with second-degree assault in the July 4 shooting of a 14-year-old boy.
Cary Francis Schmidt, 49, allegedly shot the boy in the neck shortly after a family fireworks celebration at the intersection of Belvidere Street East and South Oakdale Avenue on St. Paul's west side.
While the motive for the shooting has not been fully established, investigators learned that Schmidt may have been upset about the use of fireworks in the neighborhood. Schmidt lives less than half a block from the intersection.
No one saw who shot the boy, according to the criminal complaint.
"The shooting wasn't heard because it couldn't be distinguished from the fireworks and the gun going off," said Sgt. Paul Schnell, spokesman for the St. Paul Police Department.
The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to Regions Hospital in critical condition. His condition has since been upgraded to stable.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducted forensic tests that determined a bullet recovered from the victim was fired by a .22 caliber rifle that police found in Schmidt's home, according to the complaint.
Witnesses said they had seen Schmidt enter his home carrying a gun. Police subsequently found a rifle with a scope mounted on it in Schmidt's closet, and three shell casings outside of Schmidt's home.
Schmidt told police that he had been inside his garage on July 4 and denied any knowledge of the shooting incident, the complaint said.
A warrant has been issued for Schmidt's arrest. If convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.