15-year-old dies after being shot at church

Wilmington Police and Will Sherrif's Deputies responded to the Christian Faith Center in Wilmington at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday after the report of an accidential shooting of a 15-year-old victim.

Officers arrived at the 1800 block of South Water Street and were led to the main part of the church where a juvenile male victim was found unresponsive with an apparent gunshot wounf near his armpit. the Will County Sheriff Office reports. A family member and deputies performed CPR until Wilmington parademics arrived.

Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley reports that a 17-year-old, son of the pastor and family who live in the residence in the rear of the church, and the 15-year-old, visiting from Godley, thought the church was being burglarized so they grabbed a gun from a closet and went to investigate. The 15-year-old was running in front of the 17-year-old, carrying the rifle, when the elder cousin tripped on a cord. The rifle accidentially discharged, striking the 15-year-old. The juvenile was transported by Wilmington ambulance to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"The 17-year-old was brought into the investigations division by Sheriff's detectives where he fully cooperated," Kelley said. "It was reported that the pastor and his family had recently moved into the residential portion of the property."

Kelley said detectives met with the Will County State's Attorney's Office and discussed the facts of the investigation. "It was determined that this was a tragic accident and the 17-year-old was released to his parents without charges."

The 17-year-old had a valid firearms card, the Sheriff noted.