Pastor’s Son Fatally Shoots Teenage Cousin Inside Illinois Church Building by Accident

A sleepover inside a church-owned building in Illinois turned to horror last Wednesday night when a pastor’s 17-year-old son fatally shot his 15-year-old cousin by accident while looking for a supposed robber they thought was trying to break into their church.

“Basically, it was a tragic accident, where they thought someone was breaking into the church. They responded with a rifle. Unfortunately, a 15-year-old lost his life because of it,” Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley said at a press conference, according to ABC 7.

CBS Chicago report said Wilmington police and Will County Sheriff’s officers responded to the Christian Faith Center located at 1800 S. Water Street at about 11:45 p.m., after receiving a 911 call that a boy had been shot.

When officers arrived, they found family members administering CPR to a 15-year-old boy, identified by family as Michael Wilkey. Wilkey’s 17-year-old cousin remains unidentified.

Police say that Wilkey was having a sleepover with his 17-year-old cousin at the parsonage attached to the church. The two teenagers reportedly heard a noise they thought was someone trying to break into the church, so they grabbed a rifle from a closet in the home and went to investigate.

As the boys were running toward the church’s gym area, the 17-year-old boy tripped on an extension cord and the gun went off discharging a single bullet. The bullet struck Wilkey under the arm, police said.

Wilkey’s cousin, who was devastated by the accident, cooperated fully with authorities. It was revealed that the pastor and his family had recently moved into the building.

“Hindsight is always 20/20. I would suspect that the best thing that could have happened was the 17-year-old wake up his father and let his father address the situation. He decided to take it into his own hands,” Kelley said.

Wilkey’s half-sister, Danielle Picciola, remembered him as having a big heart in a GoFundMe campaign seeking to raise $15,000 to help the family with burial and medical expenses.

“He comes from a very loving family and we cannot even put into words how much we just want him to be here with us. Mikey was the best kid you could ever meet. He was so full of love and laughter, and he had the biggest heart,” she wrote.

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Source: Christian Post