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Man hunting squirrels in yard fires bullet into neighbor’s home

Thursday, July 14, 2011

From Sun-Times Media

An Elgin man faces a felony charge after allegedly firing a rifle bullet into a neighbor’s home while apparently try to hunt squirrels.

A 32-year-old woman said she was cleaning her home near Bent Street and Lavoie Avenue about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday when she heard glass break in her kitchen, police said.

She discovered a bullet had gone through the kitchen’s sliding glass patio door, passed through a curtain and imbedded itself in a wall, police said.
Fortunately, she told officers, her two children had been in the basement and her husband had been at work. Police found a bullet fragment on the floor near the broken glass window.

Police said a large number of patrol officers and gang detectives began searching the area and found empty shell casings in the driveway of a home in the 500 block of Lavoie.

Police said the man who lives there, John E. Hegel, 64, admitted he had been using his .22-caliber rifle to shoot at squirrels in his backyard.

Hegel was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and criminal damage to property. He was released without bail and is scheduled to appear in court on July 27.

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