BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS — A St. Louis County man is charged with assault and armed criminal action for allegedly shooting a teenager who broke into his car.

KTVI-TV reports that 41-year-old Charles Bams has the support of neighbors who say he had the right to protect his property.

The shooting happened Oct. 14 in Bellefontaine Neighbors. Police say teenagers were roaming the block trying to break into cars. One got into Bams' vehicle and Bams confronted the group.

Police say one of the teens appeared to reach for a weapon and Bams shot him in the leg.

But an official with the prosecutor's office says the teen had run several houses away when Bams shot him. Bams does not yet have an attorney.

The teenagers have not been charged but an investigation continues.