Kewanee, IL

Teen apparently shot himself accidentally, police say

Mike Berry

Kewanee police are investigating an apparent accidental shooting of a 17-year-old male Sunday morning on Birth Place.

According to Police Chief Nicholas Welgat, at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Kewanee police and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in the 800 block of Birch Place on a 911 report of a male subject with a gunshot wound. Deputies and officers located a 17-year-old male suffering from a gunshot wound to the buttocks.

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Police and the sheriff's office are investigating an accident shooting on Birch Place Sunday.Photo byMike Berry

Welgat said the subsequent investigation indicated the 17-year-old male had accidently shot himself while manipulating a firearm.

The victim was transported to OSF St. Luke Medical Center in Kewanee and eventually transferred to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, the chief said.

Law enforcement searched the residence in the 800 block of Birch Place and a residence in the 300 block of Franklin Street to look for the firearm. They were unable to find the gun at either location.

The investigation revealed two associates of the victim were initially present when the shooting occurred and may have removed the firearm from the Birch Place home before law enforcement arrived.

The shooting victim will be issued a juvenile referral form to the Henry County Probation Office on preliminary charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of a firearm without a FOID card, Welgat said.

The investigation into this incident is still ongoing, Welgat said. He added, “If anyone has any additional information related to the investigation, they are encouraged to contact the Kewanee Police Department at (309) 853-1911.”

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I am retired after 45 years in the newspaper business. I am a 1972 graduate of the College of Communications at the University of Illinois.

Kewanee, IL
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