14-year-old charged with fatally shooting friend in Bensenville
A 14-year-old boy has been charged in the Thursday shooting death of his 13-year-old friend, Hunter Krzysik, at a residence in Bensenville, authorities said.
The boy faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and reckless discharge of a firearm -- all felonies -- according to the DuPage County state's attorney's office.
The name of the charged teen is not being released because he is charged as a juvenile. He appeared at a detention hearing Friday morning, where Judge Robert Anderson ordered him released to the custody of his parents on home detention.
Hunter Krzysik graduated in June from Blackhawk Middle School in Bensenville Elementary District 2.
Police said they responded Thursday afternoon to a report of a person shot inside a residence. When they arrived, officers and paramedics found the 13-year-old bleeding from his head. The boy later was pronounced dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
Authorities say the 14-year-old and three of his friends were handling firearms left unlocked inside the residence of one of the other juveniles. While handling the guns, the 14-year-old boy shot his friend in the head, they say.
The boy was taken into custody without incident early Friday morning after an investigation by Bensenville police and the Metropolitan Emergency Response and Investigative Team.
"This heartbreaking turn of events should serve as a reminder to parents to lock up their weapons and keep them out of reach from their children," State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. "I offer my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of this young boy who senselessly lost his life yesterday afternoon."
Bensenville Chief Dan Schulze said any loss of life to gun violence is a tragedy.
"What makes this case a particularly bitter pill to swallow for the entire community is that the victim was a 13-year-old boy," said Schulze, who thanked responding officers and investigators "in this horrible incident."
Authorities said the case remains under investigation.
The 14-year-old boy's next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 22.
Meanwhile, District 2 officials put out a statement, that read in part: "Our immediate thoughts and prayers extend to this student's family and friends, as well as our teachers and staff who have come to know them over the years. As we mourn this tragedy, we must look to each other for comfort and support."
The district said counselors and social workers will be available for students and staff members from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at Blackhawk Middle School and from noon to 3 p.m. at Tioga School. The district will continue to share counseling resources with the community as needed, officials said.
"In the coming days -- as we struggle with grief and strive toward healing -- please remember to open your arms and your hearts to each other, and to trust that brighter days await our BSD2 family," the statement read.