Boy, 14, accidentally shot, juvenile charged

CHICAGO — A juvenile has been charged with what police ruled the accidental gunshot death of a 14-year-old boy in Prospect Heights.

The youth was charged with involuntary manslaughter and taken to Chicago Juvenile Detention Center on Sunday morning, police said.

After the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the 14-year-old boy’s death Sunday a homicide, the Prospect Heights Police Department soon closed its investigation.

According to police, four teenagers and one adult man were staying in an homeless apartment on Block 500 of Piper Lane at the time. The youths passed an unloaded pistol around and took turns “dry-firing” the gun.

One of the youths then inserted a loaded magazine and dispensed a cartridge before removing the magazine moments later. One of the youths – who forgot the chambered cartridge or didn’t know that a handgun could fire without a chamber magazine – pointed the gun at the 14-year-old and pulled the trigger, believing they were going to “dry fire” the gun.

A single shot was fired, hitting the 14-year-old in the chest.

The adult man immediately fled the apartment after the 14-year-old was shot.

Police said the other three youths gave similar statements to detectives when questioned immediately after the shooting on Friday, which put the 19-year-old man in the picture as a shooter.

On Saturday morning, however, investigators went to the 19-year-old man’s home and took him into custody as part of the death investigation. Police said the 19-year-old was being cooperative and agreed to speak to detectives without representation by a lawyer.

The 19-year-old denied pointing a gun and firing at him and admitted he fled the apartment, according to police, but only out of fear. The 19-year-old was then released from the police station.

Later on Saturday, the three teenage witnesses and their parents were called back to the police station for further questioning. At that point, the three youths’ earlier statements began to change “drastically,” according to police.

During the interrogation process, one of the juvenile witnesses implicated another juvenile who had also originally been questioned as a witness. The former teenage witness – who was at the home at the time of the incident, police said – changed his testimony and confessed to being the shooter.

According to investigators, all the evidence, statements and the crime scene point to this incident being a “tragic accident”. Boy, 14, accidentally shot, juvenile charged

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