Boy Shoots Himself With Mom's Service Weapon

An 11-year-old west suburban boy was found dead in his home after apparently shooting himself with a handgun belonging to his mother, a Kane County Sheriff’s deputy.

Yorkville Deputy Police Chief Larry Hilt said the death is being investigated as an apparent suicide, the Beacon-News is reporting.

Police were called to the home in the 1400 block of Crimson Lane in Yorkville at around 6:33 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

Kendall County Coroner Ken Toftoy said the boy suffered a single gunshot wound, and was at home with his mother when it happened.

The gun used was the mother’s service weapon, Hilt said. Police are still investigating how the boy ended up with the gun.

Sheriff Richard Randall said an internal investigation is being conducted into the incident and the deputy’s adherence to department policy regarding the handling and storage of service weapons.

The department requires all issued weapons to be securely stored with a locking mechanism in accordance with state law, he said.

“This is a terrible tragedy, made all the more difficult by the victim’s young age,” Randall said. “Our prayers go out to (the deputy) and her family.”

The boy was a sixth-grade student at Autumn Creek Elementary School in Yorkville.

The school district sent a message to the staff about the boy’s death.

“We have our crisis team meeting with all students in the building by grade level about dealing with the death of a student,” spokeswoman Megan Jacobs said.

“We are providing ongoing support for every student in the building, teachers throughout the district, and any community members needing support.”

Jacobs said the district’s crisis team will meet in the upcoming days to talk about how to address the nature of the death with students.

“Those conversations will be developing,” Jacobs said. “At this point, we are just dealing with the grieving process.”

Stephanie Weber, executive director of Suicide Prevention Services in Batavia, said her group has an office in Yorkville but has not been able to get into the schools with its awareness program for a while now.

“It takes a village to raise children,” she said. “We need to be talking to them from kindergarten on through health programs that deal with feelings and depression. They need to know there is someone they can go to, an adult, where they feel safe talking about these feelings,” she said.

She said society is seeing younger children committing suicide, in large part because of bullying and “constant emails and texts they can never turn off.”

Younger children, she said, are even “less able to handle it all.”

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