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Police look for answers after shooting of teen

Police continue to look for answers after a bizarre shooting that occurred Saturday evening when a 17-year-old boy showed up at his father's house, bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound to the chest. The young victim has reported multiple stories of what transpired, adding to the confusion, the Petaluma Police Department said.

"He's not being cooperative," Lt. Matthew Stapleton said Monday. "But evidence indicates that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound."

It was about 5 p.m. on April 26 when the victim's father heard a noise outside of his Sycamore Lane home, off of Petaluma Boulevard North. He opened the door and found his teenage son, bleeding from the chest. In the confusion of the moment, he first reported that his son had been hit by a car.

"We determined when we got there that it was a gun shot," said Sgt. Paul Gilman of the Petaluma police on Saturday.

The victim, who is not being identified due to his age, was rushed to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Doctors determined the wound was not life threatening, and the teen is expected to make a full recovery. However, what exactly occurred remains a mystery.

"He has at one point said it was an accidental shooting. He then said it was a drive-by (shooting)," Stapleton said. "At one point he said he didn't know what happened."

Police do know that the teen suffered a close contact wound, which supports the theory that he shot himself, either intentionally or accidentally.

The lack of information has hindered the investigation, Stapleton said. Police have not found the handgun used in the shooting, but say they are confident that the weapon did not come from the teen's own home.

No eyewitnesses have come forward with information, and police are still trying to determine where the shooting happened. The teen told law enforcement that he was shot on nearby Magnolia Avenue, but Stapleton said they found no physical evidence that supports that claim.

"We're going to have to let nature take its course on this one," Stapleton said, adding that anyone with information about this case should contact Detective Brian Miller at 778-4372.

(Contact Emily Charrier at emily.charrier@arguscourier.com)


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