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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Police: Four youth may have been shot

Friday, April 13, 2007

Greencastle police officers investigating the alleged pellet gun attack on a boy playing at Robe-Ann Park Wednesday evening expressed concern Thursday with the possibility that as many as four children may have been targeted.

Mike Lenihan, the father of the boy who reported being shot in the stomach by two juveniles, told the BannerGraphic that not one, but two of his sons, both elementary or middle school age students, were in fact shot.

GPD Assistant Chief Brian Hopkins said it's possible there were up to four children targeted in the area of the Emerald Palace play area that night, but he has not been able to confirm two of them. All victims and the two suspects are juveniles.

Further, the alleged incident did not occur at the skatepark, as was reported in Wednesday's story. Hopkins explained that the boy and his father met with Officer Jeff Modlin near the skatepark after the shooting, but the incident itself occurred in the vicinity of the Emerald Palace.

One of the victims, according to his father, was shot in the stomach with a BB-like pellet and the other was shot a total of three times, once in the back, arm and ear. Neither boy was seriously injured but had welts on their skin. The boy's aunt said her nephew was trying to escape from the suspects by riding his bicycle but was shot as he rode away.

There is still a dispute over the alleged incident involving a knife that was reported in Wednesday's story as well.

Hopkins told the BannerGraphic initially that he was not aware of reports that the victims were threatened with a knife. But after clarifying with Officer Modlin late Thursday afternoon, Hopkins told the BannerGraphic that Officer Modlin did in fact confiscate a pocketknife from the two suspects.

"Supposedly the kids said, 'You want to see my knife,'" Hopkins said. "I don't exactly know what was said. I think the knife was shown."

Lenihan believes his sons were actually threatened with the knife. Hopkins says he has not been able to confirm that any threats were made with the knife.

Regardless, Lenihan says his one son is scared to go back to the park following the incident.

"Next time I guess I'll have to go down there with them," Lenihan said.

Despite the dispute over details, Hopkins said he is concerned with what allegedly took place at the park and that the department will do what it can to prevent future things like this from happening. He said the officers already patrol the park, but with current staffing they cannot be there all the time.

"We can increase patrols, which we have by a lot," Hopkins said. "We patrol as much as we can."

The case has been turned over to the county prosecutor for his review.

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