The customer who ran out of an Amherst bank and fired five or six shots at a fleeing armed robber on Christmas Eve will not be charged with a crime.

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said he decided not to file charges or present the case to a grand jury because he believes the man acted reasonably and within his legal rights in shooting at the robber.

Sedita and Senior Trial Counsel Thomas M. Finnerty pointed out that the customer, whose name wasn’t released, is a mature 63-year-old and doesn’t have a criminal record.

They also noted he waited until the robber was outside the bank and wasn’t near anyone before yelling at him to stop and then firing.

“This man was clearly not acting as a cowboy, was not acting as a vigilante, was not acting in a reckless way,” Sedita said in an interview.

Earlier this month, Sedita asked Finnerty to review the case file after Amherst police opted not to charge the gunman with reckless endangerment or another crime.

The Dec. 24 robbery took place just before 9:15 a. m. at the Citizens Bank branch at 3180 Sheridan Drive, near Bailey Avenue.

The robber displayed a gun as he ordered the 10 or so patrons and employees inside the bank to raise their hands before demanding money from the tellers, police said. The cus-

tomer, who has a legal pistol permit, told Amherst police he didn’t take out his gun inside the bank because he didn’t want any employees or customers to get hurt, Finnerty said.

Source: By Stephen T. Watson for

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