A New York City man accused of fatally shooting a would-be robber received 24-gun charges and had his bail doubled. Several of the gun charges are not associated with the fatal shooting.
Charles Foehner was recently confronted by a man in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens at approximately 2 a.m. Surveillance footage shows the man, Cody Gonzalez, 32, approaching Foehner. Gonzalez allegedly demanded money and cigarettes.
— New York Post (@nypost) June 1, 2023
Gonzalez reportedly held a pen in his hand, which Foehner mistook as a knife. After multiple warnings, Foehner shot and killed Gonzalez with a handgun after Gonzalez hurried towards him.
Gonzalez reportedly had 15 arrests since 2004 and a record of being mentally ill.
After turning himself into police, Foehner was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and possession of a firearm while being held on $25,000 bail. Foehner was then arraigned and charged with 26 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and had his bail doubled to $50,000. The charges had nothing to do with the fatal shooting.
Police searched Foehner’s apartment and discovered approximately 26 firearms.
According to Assistant District Attorney Joseph Randazzo, authorities found “approximately 26 firearms, including pistols, shotguns, rifles, an AK 47, two body armor vests and multiple rounds of ammunition” at Foehner’s home.
Foehner has a license for five of his rifles but not for the handguns, which includes the one he used in the fatal shooting. The 65-year-old retired doorman reportedly told authorities he was armed with the illegal firearm to protect himself because New York City’s crime rates have skyrocketed.
“Last night I was carrying a firearm because of the way the city has been for the last three years,” Foehner reportedly told investigators. “I read the crime stats and I see so much crime. I had the pistol. I obtained it in a bar one night.”
Foehner said he had the gun since the 1990s, adding that he also collects firearms for fun but did not have permits for most firearms he owns.
“The defendant was on the street with a loaded, unlicensed gun,” Judge Jerry Iannece said in Queens Criminal Court. “There are too many shootings in this city! The court is quite concerned with what we see.”
Foehner’s lawyer, Margaret Lin, pleaded with the judge to release her client without bail. She claimed that Foehner is a deli worker without a criminal record who “lives steps away” from the courthouse and is not a flight risk.
“This incident is a total aberration in his life,” Lin told the court. “He is the one who called the police immediately after the robbery, where he is the victim.”
Despite Lin’s comments, Iannece decided to double Foehner’s bail.
“What is concerning to the court is the large arsenal of weaponry found in his apartment… in the city of New York, where there are many, way too many shootings,” Iannece said.
Foehner faces at least 25 years in prison on the charge of criminal possession of a firearm in the first degree. He is scheduled to return to court on June 5, 2023.