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Cops calling teen’s shooting death an accident

Updated: August 10, 2012 6:25AM

A 14-year-old boy was fatally shot Saturday night in what Harvey police are calling an accidental shooting pending an investigation.

The victim was identified as Mario Butler, of the 1600 block of Downs Drive in Calumet City. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn at 10:55 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

An autopsy conducted Sunday determined Butler died from a gunshot wound to the arm, and his death was ruled a homicide, the medical examiner’s office said. When asked about Butler’s death being ruled a homicide, Harvey spokeswoman Sandra Alvarado, who said the shooting is believed to have been accidental, said the investigation was ongoing.

The teen’s grandmother Terez Arnold-Clay said Mario was in Harvey at a friend’s house, where he and his friends usually played basketball, and was waiting for his mother to pick him up so he could visit his aunt and cousins, when he was shot.

She said Mario lived with his mother, Latora Arnold, and his 1-year-old brother, in Calumet City.

“He was just a beautiful kid,” Arnold-Clay said. “He was really a good kid. He was respectful and he respected his elders.”

Mario had recently graduated from eighth grade and loved to run track and play basketball at his school, his grandmother said. She said he wanted to be a professional basketball player when he grew up, probably for his favorite team, the Miami Heat.

Police responded to a call at 149th and Morgan streets around 9 p.m., and the shooting occurred in the general area, Alvarado said. Because the victim is a juvenile, few details are being released until after an investigation is completed, she said. The area does not have a history of violent gun activity, according to Alvarado.

The Harvey Police Department is working with the Cook County state’s attorney’s office to investigate the death, Alvarado said.

Contributing: Hunter Clauss and Diana Novak

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