Allegedly armed suspect was carrying air pellet pistol


Therese Pokerney

A police officer shot an allegedly armed student in the leg Thursday afternoon near John and Locust streets. The 23-year-old male suffers non-life threatening injuries and has been taken to the hospital.

By Jessica Bursztynsky, Staff Writer

University of Illinois Police Department officers named 23-year-old University student Samuel Applebaum as the suspect originally thought to be wielding a semi-automatic handgun near campus Thursday night.

Instead of a handgun, however, Applebaum was determined to be carrying a Beretta air pellet pistol, according to a press release sent out Friday afternoon.

A call came into UIPD at 6:22 p.m. about a man with a handgun near Locust and John Streets.

UIPD officers Chuck Hoskins and A.J. Martin, and Champaign County Sheriff’s Deputy Cory Christensen arrived to the scene and located Applebaum.

He refused officer’s orders to drop what they thought was a gun, according to the press release, and pointed it at the officers. The three officers fired and shot Applebaum in the leg, wounding him. He remains in the Carle Foundation Hospital as of the time of publication.

“This gun had no features that would indicate it was not a real gun unless closely inspected,” according to the release.

The officers involved remain on administrative leave, pending investigation. Illinois State Police investigators have taken over the case, which adheres to protocol.

[email protected]