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Crime & Safety

Naperville Teen Killed By Joliet Police Had BB Gun: Cops

The Will Grundy Major Crimes Task force is investigating the circumstances of Tuesday's deadly Joliet police shooting on Second Avenue.

JOLIET, IL — Joliet police officers shot and killed a 19-year-old Naperville man around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 800 block of Second Avenue, authorities announced Wednesday afternoon. Joseph Casten had a BB gun in his hand, and he was the person who called 911 claiming that someone was in the street threatening to shoot people, Will County police officials announced.

"Mr. Casten was reported to police to be threatening to shoot people. Upon arrival, three uniformed JPD Officers in marked squad cars encountered Mr. Casten in the street brandishing what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun," Will County Major Crimes Task Force members announced late Wednesday afternoon. "Mr. Casten aimed this apparent handgun at officers and was subsequently shot multiple times. Officers on the scene quickly attempted to render life saving measures."

The Naperville teen shot by Joliet police was rushed to Silver Cross Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. None of the Joliet officers were injured, Wednesday's news release said.

Casten suffered multiple gunshot wounds, the Will County Coroner's Office stated.

The Major Crimes task force announced that "during the post-shooting investigation, the apparent black semi-automatic handgun was discovered to be a BB gun. It was also learned after the shooting that Mr. Casten was the 911 caller reporting a person in the street threatening to shoot people."

The Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force did not disclose the names of the Joliet officers who killed the Naperville resident.

NBC reported that one witness told their television station that she saw officers shoot a man who looked to be between the ages of 19 and 21, hearing more than a dozen gunshots as she took cover inside her home.

"He had a cell phone up and the police shot at him and hit the phone and the phone exploded," one woman told NBC 5, telling them that it was uniformed Joliet officers in two squad cars involved in the shooting.

About 90 minutes after the shooting, Joliet Police Chief Al Roechner arrived at the crime scene, and he crossed with the yellow tape to confer with other police officials who were spearheading the investigation.

The scene was immediately turned over to the Will-Grundy Major Crime Task Force for investigation.

There was a large police presence on Joliet's Second Avenue Tuesday night and Joliet police had a one-block area between Rowell Avenue and Arizona Avenue blocked off with crime scene tape. Cones could be seen marking evidence in the street as crime scene investigators worked.

Officers from several area departments, including Joliet, the Bolingbrook Police Department and the Will County Sheriff's Office, were at the scene.

Less than a mile and a half away, investigators were also gathered at a separate scene at a BP gas station near Chicago Street and McDonough Street. Several gas pumps were roped off by crime scene tape as police investigated an SUV. To read the Joliet Patch of the BP Amoco crime involving the arrest of Michael Bass, go here.

This is a developing story. Check back with Patch for updates.

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