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August 24, 2013

14-year-old charged with manslaughter

Fort Edward shooting killed former Chazy teen Gary Cota

(Continued)

His paternal grandmother, Candy Cota, said the teen who turned the shotgun at her grandson was his friend.

The family had moved to Fort Edward from Chazy soon after Gary completed seventh grade at Chazy Central Rural School in June 2010.

His mother moved back to the Plattsburgh area around July or August of 2012, Parrott said.

‘BROKE FAMILY UP’

Mr. Cota said that although the charges bring a measure of solace to the family, some wounds never heal.

“It gives me consolation that charges have been filed but does it make me feel better? No. My grandson is still dead,” the West Chazy man said.

“Not only was one life was ruined, but you’ve got a lot of people that are affected.

“It broke the family up.”

While it took more than a year for the charges to be filed, Mr. Cota said, that’s often a reality of the justice system.

“Everybody watches TV, and they watch ‘CSI,’ and things are done quickly. It’s not that way in the real world,” he said. “I’d rather have them take their time and do it right.

“I still don’t know what his reason was behind (the shooting),” Mr. Cota said.

‘TEACH GUN SAFETY’

Candy said that since Gary’s death, her family has been contacted frequently by proponents of gun control.

But she doesn’t believe stricter gun laws are needed.

“It’s the person behind the gun, not the gun itself.”

Her husband thinks education and common sense are key to preventing needless injuries and deaths.

In his home, guns are locked away, with the keys stored in a separate location, Mr. Cota said.

“Kids are naturally curious,” he said. “Just because you teach your children gun safety and they understand it, it doesn’t mean the next-door-neighbor’s kid understands it.”

While children are taught about the dangers of drugs in school, they usually aren’t given a lesson in gun safety, he said.

So, most times, that’s up to parents, Mr. Cota said.

“I hope people take the time to teach their kids gun safety,” he said.

Email Felicia Krieg: fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg

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