Press Release: Juvenile Receives Gunshot Wound from a Stray Bullet

July, 6, 2021

Juvenile Receives Gunshot Wound from a Stray Bullet

RIVER FOREST, IL On July 4, 2021 at approximately 10:20 PM the River Forest Police Department responded to the 100 block of Gale to assist the River Forest Fire Department with regard to a juvenile possibly injured by a firework. It was reported that fireworks were being set off in the immediate area at the time of the incident. The juvenile was conscious and breathing, plus was mobile and clearly able to communicate. Initial observations noted that the juvenile was bleeding from the top of his head and it appeared that a small object was lodged under the skin. The victim was transported to an area hospital.     

Emergency Room doctors were able to remove the object from the victim’s head and River Forest Police Evidence Technicians recovered the object. The object was determined to be a 9mm projectile that had been fired from a firearm. At this preliminary stage of the investigation, detectives believe that an unknown subject had fired a 9mm firearm into the air and that the bullet traveled a great distance prior to falling out of the sky, striking the juvenile victim. It is believed that the weapon was fired from outside the Village of River Forest, possibly from a neighboring jurisdiction or the forest preserves.

The River Forest detectives are working with bordering jurisdictions to develop leads and will be sending the projectile to the Illinois State Police Forensic Lab, as well the ATF to analyze. The Village of River Forest has seen a 19% reduction in Type A (Part I) offenses, which includes violent crimes, this year in comparison to 2020. Although there is a rise in gun usage and violence in Cook County, River Forest has not seen a rise in criminal activities using gun violence. Our Police Department continues outreach to our community on various topics through engagement forums focusing on safety and advocating for a nonviolent and healthy Village. Anyone who may have information to assist with this investigation is asked to call the River Forest Police Department at (708) 366-7125.   

“This event should have never happened and our hearts go out to the victim and the family. Illegal guns, gun violence, and reckless gun related incidents are plaguing our country, especially in Cook County at alarming levels.  Media outlets report that gun violence and deaths are trending higher in 2021 than in 2015-2020 statistics and gun/ammunition sales continue to break records. Everyone in our humane society has role to play when it comes to community safety and getting illegal guns, plus habitual gun offenders off of the streets. River Forest is still the safest community in the area to live and work in.” – Chief James O’Shea

Click here for the full press release.