Janesville Police: Man shoots, injures sister after mistaking her for intruder

UPDATED Thursday, January 9, 2014 --- 6:10 p.m.

A family visit in Janesville goes horribly wrong, landing a sister in a hospital bed and a brother in trouble with the law. The unusual accident has police giving advice on how to avoid it.

It was about 1:00p.m. Wednesday when police were called here to Spaulding Avenue in Janesville for a 13-year-old girl who'd been shot.

A confusing situation leading to a horrible mistake. Police say 20-year-old Sidney Johnson was in Janesville visiting his family. Deputy Chief Dan Davis says he didn't know his 13-year-old sister was home.

"Around 1 o'clock he can hear some noise coming from the bedroom and he assumes it's an intruder trying to get into the house to the bedroom window."

Scared, police say, Johnson found his dad's gun. Meanwhile, the girl headed to the laundry room to get dressed.

"She didn't feel she was properly dressed to see her brother so when she saw him in the hallway, that's why she shut the door which makes perfect sense but the movement of the door he interpreted incorrectly and he fired through the door."

Police say after the shooting the girl yelled out for her brother.That's when he realized what had happened. They say he called 911 and she was brought to Mercy Hospital with flesh wounds on her arm and torso.

"I'm told she was amazingly calm."

Deputy Cheif Dan Davis says Johnson is still being held but hasn't been charged yet.

"He certainly realizes that he made some very poor decisions and assumptions."

But they say that doesn't excuse what he did.

"We believe that shooting a gun through a door at an on identifiable target is unreasonable."

Calling 911 is what Davis recommends anyone does if they hear an intruder, and he says if that isn't an option...

"Another option is to call out and challenge to identify that as a homeowner or a resident that you are there and that you're armed. Let that be known before you just arbitrarily shoot through a door."

The victim's mother says she's doing well and that this was just a freak accident that happened to their family.


UPDATED Thursday, January 9, 2014 --- 12:05 p.m.

Janesville Police say a 20-year-old man shot and wounded his 13-year-old sister after he thought she was an intruder.

The shooting happened around 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 3300 block of Spaulding Avenue.

Officers say 20-year-old Sidney Johnson was visiting his family's home, and didn't know his sister was there.

His 13-year-old sister was sleeping, and awoke when Johnson arrived. She made her way to the laundry room, trying not to be seen since she still had to get dressed.

Johnson heard someone moving around, and assumed it was an intruder.

Police say Johnson took his father's gun, and shot through the laundry room door.

The 13-year-old girl suffered injuries to her right arm and the right side of her torso. She was treated and released from the hospital.

Deputy Police Chief Dan Davis says the department plans to arrest Johnson, saying that firing at someone without seeing them is reckless.


Posted Wednesday, January 8, 2014 ---5:09 p.m.

Janesville Police say a girl suffered a gunshot wound Wednesday afternoon.

Officers responded to 3381 Spaulding Avenue at 1:05 p.m.

When they arrived, the only people in the home were the girl and her 20-year-old brother.

Police say the circumstances surrounding how the shooting occurred remain under investigation.

The girl's injuries do not appear to be life threatening. Officers are confident there is no further threat to the neighborhood or community.

Officers are not releasing any other details at this time, but expect that more information will be available Thursday morning.

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