Accidental gunshot may lead to charges

Charges are expected to be filed against two Ripon 18-year-olds who allegedly stole a gun, accidentally shot themselves with the stolen firearm — and then claimed they’d been victims of a drive-by shooting.

The teens, who have not been identified pending charges being filed, apparently both were injured when one unintentionally fired a 9mm handgun.

The one man shot his finger, with that bullet then going into the leg of the other individual.

Neither wound was considered life-threatening, though the two men were transferred to a trauma center from Ripon Medical Center.

They had arrived early Sunday morning at the hospital via a private vehicle with the gunshot wounds.

This led to a Ripon Police Department investigation, for which the 18-year-olds were interviewed.

“Initially, the people who were involved in the shooting fabricated a story about how it happened. After interviews with them, we were able to determine the shooting actually occurred in the city,” Sgt. John Teachout said, noting the young men had told police, “They were walking along the highway and a vehicle pulled up and shot them. That’s a fabrication.”

Police quickly realized this was a lie.

“We have to investigate everything; we have to take people for their word, but their story fell apart pretty quick,” Teachout said.

During the course of the investigation, it also became apparent the firearm involved was stolen.

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