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Norfolk buddy shooter released from jail

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WINTHROP - A Norfolk man who allegedly shot his friend in the leg because he was asked to was released from custody following an appearance Thursday in Stockholm Town Court.

Shawn B. Mossow, 25, 27 Morris St. Apt. 2, had been held at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility since Sunday on $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond following his arrest for felony first-degree reckless endangerment by state police.

He is charged with shooting his roommate, Wesley Bell, in the lower leg Sunday afternoon in a remote area off the West Stockholm-Southville Road in the town of Stockholm. Mr. Bell reportedly had convinced his friend to shoot him because he wanted to know what it felt like to be shot.

Mr. Bell was intiially treated at Canton-Potsdam Hospital and then transferred to the Fletcher Allen Medical Center in Burlington, Vt., with what police described as non life-threatening injuries. He was released from the hospital earlier this week, but Norfolk Rescue was called to Mr. Bell’s residence Thursday afternoon to a complaint that the man with a gunshot wound from Sunday was complaining of pain.

Mossow appeared in court for a scheduled preliminary hearing, but that session was cancelled after St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole Duve signed off on a recommendation from the probation department that the Norfolk man be released from custody.

Stockholm Town Justice Wayne G. Williams signed a temporary order of protection directing Mossow to stay away from Mr. Bell.

Mossow has resided at the Morris Street apartment since March. His roommates include Mr. Bell and Charles Woodruff.

“I do not want you and Wesley residing in the same residence. I understand this may cause some financial problems as far as the rental situation, but I think this is in your best interest until this matter is cleaned up. You can have contact with your other roommate,” Judge Williams said.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Mark C. Williams asked to have Mossow’s case sent up to county court for possible grand jury action. Defense attorneys are expected to argue the shooting doesn’t meet the components of a felony charge since Mossow shot his friend at the victim’s request and then immediately took him to a hospital so he could receive proper medical care.

In a statement to state police investigators filed in Stockholm Town Court, Mossow said his roommate and closest friend, Wesley Bell, started asking him around noon Sunday if he would shoot him because Mr. Bell wanted to know what it felt like.

But Mr. Mossow said they had no gun or ammunition and it wasn’t a good idea, his statement said.

“I told Wesley I didn’t think that it would feel good. Wesley kept repeatedly asking me to shoot him in the leg. I told him it was kind of hard when we don’t have a gun and the ammunition,” Mossow noted in his statement.

He said Mr. Bell gave him a .22 and paid for the gas so they could drive to Walmart in Potsdam to purchase a box of shells.

He said this wasn’t the first time Mr. Bell asked to be shot so he could know what it felt like. He said after purchasing the ammo the two men returned to his Norfolk residence.

“I was asking over and over if that was what he really wanted, and he kept saying yes. After a while, he went into the utility room and came out with his grandfather’s old .22 and it had no clip,” Mossow told troopers.

Mr. Mossow said he put only one bullet in his pocket planning to miss on purpose and have no more bullets as the two men prepared to go for a ride, he said in the statement.

He said the two men drove around for a period of time before stopping on Southville-West Stockholm Road. “I was driving all over hoping he would lose his confidence,” Mossow said in his statement.

He said as soon as they stopped the vehicle Mr. Bell began getting amped and all psyched up. “I tried to talk him out of it, but it didn’t work. Wesley handed the rifle to me, and I put one round in the chamber,” Mossow noted.

Mr. Mossow said he fumbled with gun for four or five minutes hoping his friend would back out. “Wesley kept asking me if I wanted him to do it, and I kept telling him no... I pointed the gun behind his leg and pulled but it wouldn’t fire because the safety was on. I did this a couple of times figuring Wesley would lose his courage but it didn’t happen.” he said.

“Wesley was getting very unhappy with it and was asking me if I wanted him to show me how it was done. The fifth try I actually took the safety off and tried to miss him but his leg was bent, and I caught him right below the knee. Wesley dropped and said that it did not hurt as much as I thought it would,” Mossow added.

He said he then took Mr. Bell to Canton-Potsdam Hospital and dropped him off to receive medical care.

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