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Teen who wasted second chance sentenced to 5 years in prison in shooting case

The young man who admitted shooting another person in December at the University Metro Rail Station is “a total enigma,” his attorney told a State Supreme Court judge on Tuesday before the teen -- a former honors student -- was sentenced.

Arkeil Gaskin, 18, who pleaded guilty in January to attempted assault in the first degree and second degree criminal possession of a weapon, was sentenced to five years on each count, to run concurrently, plus five years post-release supervision.

The charges stem from an incident on Dec. 16 in the upper portion of the station. The victim was waiting for a bus at 11:20 p.m. when Gaskin fired one shot at him, hitting the victim in the arm. The two knew one another. Dozens of people witnessed the assault, police said.

Gaskin was arrested five days later. The victim has recovered from his injury.

Police classified the shooting as gang-related.

Frank LoTempio, Gaskin’s attorney, didn’t dispute his client’s guilt.

“This is a guy who had wasted every opportunity,” LoTempio said. “His parents have been there for him and given him every chance. He speaks three languages and he graduated with honors from Maritime (Western New York Maritime Charter School). He had an opportunity to excel in this world, and the lure of the streets was too much for him.”

Since pleading guilty, Gaskin has become more depressed and disappointed in himself, LoTempio said.

Gaskin already had been given a second chance when he received probation for a juvenile offense. He violated his probation with the shooting.

With his parents and more than a dozen friends and family in court for him, Gaskin appeared remorseful and did not ask for any favors.

“When you gave me a second chance (on the earlier case) I didn’t take it,” Gaskin told Justice John L. Michalski. “I would like to apologize for that, and to Mr. LoTempio and my family.”

Michalski accepted the apology and then sentenced Gaskin.

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