Police: Galesburg man accused of injuring 14-year-old girl in a shooting he says was an accident

Austin Sundberg, image from the Galesburg Police Department

GALESBURG, Illinois — A 19-year-old man is facing charges after injuring a 14-year-old girl in what he called an accidental shooting, according to police.

The injured teen girl was shot in the right shoulder, according to a statement from the Galesburg Police Department.  She was found injured in an apartment on North Chambers Street shortly before noon on Tuesday, August 20.

Initially the girl told police she was walking across the apartment parking lot when someone she didn’t know shot her.   A man who lives there, 19-year-old Austin Sundberg, said he found her, injured in the parking lot, and carried her up to his apartment.

But witnesses painted a different picture, claiming to have heard a loud bang and then a scream of pain coming from Sundberg’s apartment, according to police.

Investigators searched Sundberg’s apartment, finding a spent bullet and a box of ammunition.  A handgun was also found behind a nearby business; Sundberg later admitted to hiding the gun there.

Sundberg eventually told police that he and the teen were in his apartment taking turns holding the handgun.  Sundberg said he took the gun from the teen and it fired, which he claimed to be an accident.

Sundberg was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon, and possession of a firearm with no valid FOID card.

The injured teen was taken to a nearby hospital before being transferred to Peoria for treatment. She was listed in stable condition.

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