A south suburban teenager died Thursday night after accidentally shooting himself in the head while video chatting with a friend online.
Blake Hannett, 15, was pronounced dead at his home in the 2700 block of Lake Park Drive in Lynwood at 8:39 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
He was a sophomore at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, according to Lynwood police.
“His friendly outgoing personality and sense of humor helped to promote a team spirit both in the classroom and in the band,” Marian Catholic officials said in a statement on the school’s website.
“His million-dollar smile and joyful spirit will be missed in the hallways of Marian Catholic but never forgotten. We are deeply saddened by his death.”
Counselors were available to students throughout the day Friday and will be available in the future, the school said.
Officers were dispatched to the home at 8:11 p.m. for reports of gunfire, police said. When they arrived, they found the home secure with no signs of forced entry.
A friend who had been on Facetime with Hannett when the screen went blank told police the teen had been home alone, authorities said.
The homeowners arrived while officers were speaking to neighbors, and a search of the home revealed the teen slumped over in a chair at his desk with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police said.
A .38-caliber handgun was found on the floor under the chair.
An autopsy on Friday found the boy died of a gunshot wound to the head, and ruled the death a suicide, according to the medical examiner’s office. Police, however, believe the shooting was accidental.