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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man has been sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for a shooting last year that significantly wounded a teenage boy.

An Olmsted County jury returned a guilty verdict against 68-year-old Steven Hart in October and found him guilty of first and third-degree assault. Hart tried to argue that he was acting in self-defense when he fired a handgun at a 15-year-old boy on the afternoon of March 13, 2022.

photo courtesy Kraus-Anderson
photo courtesy Kraus-Anderson
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The initial police reports on the incident indicated the teenage boy who was struck by the bullet was shot in the leg but the criminal complaint filed against Hart stated that "the gunshot struck him in the testicles and that he may lose his reproductive organs entirely." An Olmsted County Sheriff's Deputy happened to be in the area at the time and saw several teenagers running. He also reported that he could see the victim had "been shot in the groin" and appeared to be in immense pain.

Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photo
Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photo
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The court document says the shooting occurred during a confrontation in the backyard of Hart's home near the former Kmart store in southeast Rochester. The victim told police that he in several teens had broken out a window in a nearby bus shelter and were running away when they encountered Hart.

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The teenager also admitted that he pulled out a knife during a confrontation and stated that Hart responded by firing a single shot. During his trial, Hart testified that the teen charged at him with a knife. He also told the jury that he was the person who called 911 and identified himself as the shooter.

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