A 15-year-old boy was killed Tuesday night when he was accidentally shot to death inside of a Wilmington church.
The boy, along with his 17-year-old cousin, were inside of a house adjacent to the Christian Faith Center when they thought they heard someone breaking into the church, authorities said.
The Will County Sheriff’s Department says that the boys went and grabbed a loaded rifle and then ran to investigate the source of the noise. While they were running to the gymnasium, the 17-year-old tripped, and the gun went off, striking the 15-year-old.
“It was a tragic accident that a 15-year-old lost his life over what they thought was the right thing to do,” Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley said. “They went to investigate the sound, what they thought was someone breaking in, and they tripped over an extension cord and accidently pulled the trigger
The boy was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to authorities, the 17-year-old is the son of the church’s pastor, and does carry a valid FOID card, leading the sheriff’s department to call the incident a tragic accident.
Authorities say that there was no evidence of any attempted break-in at the church.