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Shooting after fight stuns quiet Grand Island
News Staff Reporter
Escalating violence between two groups of youths led to an early morning shooting Wednesday on normally peaceful Grand Island that hospitalized a Kenmore man and put a Grand Island teen in custody, Erie County sheriff's officials said.

The shooting left Charles Casterline, 20, of Kenmore, in Erie County Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his face. The incident shocked residents on the island where such violence is virtually unheard of.

"This was an isolated incident," said Grand Island Supervisor Peter A. McMahon. "We're not talking about the Crips and the Bloods here."

Casterline and several companions became involved in a verbal dispute on Carl Road with Jesse B. Carpenter, 16, a ninth-grade student at Grand Island High School, and his friends, deputies said. They said the dispute stemmed from an earlier incident involving property damaged.

During the argument, deputies said, Carpenter pulled out a small-caliber rifle and fired several rounds into a car in which Casterline was a passenger.

Deputies and medics responding to Baseline and Staley roads treated Casterline, who was transported to ECMC. He was listed in stable condition late Wednesday. No one else was injured.

Carpenter was arraigned in Grand Island Town Court Wednesday on charges of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He was remanded to Erie County Holding Center in lieu of $25,000 bail pending an 11 a.m. Monday appearance before Grand Island Town Justice Sybil Kennedy.

"I'm surprised and saddened by the allegations," said James Dempsey, Grand Island High School principal.

Meanwhile, town leaders intend to address the incident at a previously scheduled community meeting next Thursday, according to Nina Nohrial, head of the Grand Island Family Town Schools program, an intervention and counseling referral service.