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8-Year-Old Struck by Gunfire

Updated: Friday, July 4 2014, 12:11 AM CDT

URBANA -- Around 10pm Tuesday, Urbana Police responded to a report in the 800 block of Hawthorne of an 8-year-old boy, struck in the head by gunfire.

Police say a 15-year-old family member says he knocked a backpack from a table and the weapon went off. Family members believe the 15-year-old was looking for clothes.

"They're always up there looking for clothes. That's where we keep most of the clothes at and Jatalem was looking for him some clothes to put on and I think that's how they found it in a backpack," says Ida Mae Webster, the children's grandmother.

Webster doesn't believe the 15-year-old (her adopted son) shot the gun. She says he thought it was a toy.

"He looked in there, he seen it, he thought it was a toy so he took it out and he was looking at it and put it back in the backpack and said it went off," Webster says.

Police say 8-year-old Deon Cavette sustained non-life-threatening injuries, although he underwent surgery at Carle Hospital. But, there's still concern about the weapon used.

"It's a flare gun like you would use in a boat, sort of as a rescue notification. There are as you alluded to already, kits that can modify these such that you can shoot a 410..it's a smaller shotgun shell," says Lt. Bryant Seraphin.

Webster says she doesn't know how the gun got into her home and the incident is just overwhelming.

"Oh I couldn't sleep at all last night, because my kids don't play with guns. I don't allow no guns in my house. They can't even have water guns," Webster says.

Authorities continue to investigate, but say it's certainly a rare case.

"I've heard this like one other time as far as modifying this, you don't see it very often". Seraphin says.

Lieutenant Seraphin says an iron pipe was used to modify the flare gun used in this shooting. He says there could be legal issues surrounding modifying firearms.

The 15-year-old remains in custody. There are no charges at this time.

8-Year-Old Struck by Gunfire

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