Rochester Man Convicted of Shooting Teenager ‘in the Groin’
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - In Olmsted County jury on Friday returned a guilty verdict against a Rochester man for a shooting last year that left a teenager with severe wounds to reproductive organs.
The jury found 67-year-old Steven Hart guilty of first-degree assault after rejecting his claims that he was acting in self-defense when he fired the shot that struck the 15-year-old victim in his groin on the afternoon of March 13, 2022. The initial reports concerning the incident indicated the teenage boy had been shot in the leg, but the criminal complaint stated that "the gunshot struck him in the testicles and that he may lose his reproductive organs entirely."
The court document says the shooting occurred during a confrontation between Hart and the victim in the backyard of Hart's home near the former K-Mart store in southeast Rochester. The teenager told investigators that he and several teens had broken out a window in a bus shelter and were running away when they encountered Hart. The complaint says the victim indicated that he then pulled out a knife and Hart responded by firing a single shot.
An Olmsted County Deputy happened to be in the area when the shooting occurred. The criminal complaint says the deputy saw several teens running and could see the victim had "been shot in the groin" and "was panicking and appeared to be in immense pain."
Hart, who testified that the teen charged at him, called 911 to report the incident and identified himself as "the shooter." He is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
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