NEW INFORMATION: Officers suspect minor in weekend shooting

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Eau Claire police now say the suspect and victim in a shooting during the weekend are both minors.

The Eau Claire Police Department said Monday that the suspect is in police custody. Officers say it was not a random act. It happened Sunday on the 500 block of Chippewa Street. That's a block north of Water Street in Eau Claire. Investigators say the suspect, whose name wasn't released, fired one shot. It hit another person near the sidewalk. That person ended up with non-life-threatening injuries.

It's unclear what led to the shooting.

Many who call Chippewa Street home, said they didn't hear the early morning gunshot fired Sunday morning, but saw police and crime tape fill the neighborhood soon after.

“I didn't hear anything until about 7:00 a.m. when the police knocked on our door,” Dani Truax, who lives across the street from where the shooting happened, said.

“They asked us if there were any weapons in our house, because we had a window that was partially open and I guess they found the gun in our yard … and there was blood on the sidewalk, so we saw that.”

“But (officers) didn't tell us anything else; who the victim was or if the suspect was in custody, so we were kind of freaked out for a while.”

Police said the suspect fired one shot, hitting a person near the sidewalk.

Officers say they won't yet identify the people involved because they are minors, but said both are from Eau Claire.

“Kind of astounded, really. Didn't expect it. Hopefully it doesn't happen again,” Joe Poncelet, who lives a few houses down from the scene, said.

Neighbors say what's even more surprising is their age; both minors, with the suspect under seventeen.

“I hope that people learn that this is not ok. The fact that they're minors ... they're kids. This shouldn't happen. It's crazy,” Poncelet said.

“That is really sad and I feel bad their families,” Truax said.

According to longtime Eau Claire attorney Harry Hertel, this type of crime could lead to a variety of charges and with juveniles involved, there's the question of whether the suspect would be tried as an adult. He said the end result of a case like this could also vary from supervision, to years in prison.

“I hope it's an isolated thing. I don't expect it to happen again, but nobody knows what the future's gonna hold,” Poncelet said.

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