A William Street man was charged with first-degree assault after a man was shot in the eye with a BB gun, Cheektowaga police said.
The victim, identified only as a 24-year-old Sloan man, may lose his eye, investigators said .
They believe the victim was shot while confronting David Binko, 21, who had allegedly made comments about the victim's race to the victim's girlfriend earlier in the evening while she was walking past Binko's house.
The victim is African-American, and the girlfriend and Binko are white.
The girlfriend told the victim what Binko had said, and the two went to confront Binko at his home in the 2400 block of William Street, according to police.
Binko pulled out a BB gun and shot the victim in the eye, police said. Then, two of Binko's friends attacked the victim, kicking him while he was down on the ground, police said.
The victim was taken by Rural Metro Ambulance to Erie County Medical Center. His condition was not immediately available.
Binko was charged with first-degree assault and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Mark Wesolowski, 19, of Sloan, and William Schultz, 21, of Sloan, were charged with first-degree gang assault.
Cheektowaga Police Capt. James Speyer said the incident is not being investigated as a hate crime because the racial remarks were not made directly to the victim.
"There was never any contact between the victim and the suspect until the victim came to his house," Speyer said.