LYNWOOD, Ill. (WLS) -- A 15-year-old Lynwood boy is dead after he accidentally shot himself while on FaceTime with a friend.
Blake Hannett died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on Thursday night after a gun accidentally went off, police said. He was talking with a friend on FaceTime when the screen went blank. Police responded to the home in the 2700-block of Lake Park Drive in Lynwood and found the teenager at his desk with a .38 caliber handgun on the floor under his chair, officials said.
Hannett's family said the teenager heard a noise and searched the home with the family gun for an intruder, as they say there had been a suspicious person in the neighborhood lately. They said the gun went off as he put it down in his room.
The parents of Hannett said are proud of their son and his achievements - and say Friday would have been his 16th birthday.
In the chapel at Marian Catholic High School, photos of Hannett showcase his charismatic personality. He was a sophomore, played the trumpet in the school's marching band, and was well-known for his smile.
"He was a wonderful kid, a top-notch kid, the kind of kid that really represented our school and we're just terribly hurt by his loss," said Marian Catholic High School Principal Steve Tortorello.
"There are leaders who just change the spirit, he was one of the guys," said Marian Catholic Band Director Greg Bimm. "His smile changed us all."
Hannet was home in the family's residence in Lynwood by himself, talking to a friend on a video chat when the gun went off. The friend on the other end of the chat called 911.
"When we went to his house and I saw the ambulance. There was something in my mind saying that he was gonna be okay," said family friend Lance Davis Jr.
They set up a memorial area in the school with candles and photos. Many of his classmates and teachers are recalling his sense of humor and smile.
"Blake was a solid student who always brought life to the classroom. He's the kind of kid that you knew was in class that day because he was a bright and friendly kid," said Principal Steve Tortorello.
"We've lost a very, very valuable asset to our community, one that we were ready to lift up as one of the great example of what our community can raise and produce," said Bishop Lance Davis.
That tender age makes it difficult at Marian High School, where they ended the day with a prayer service to remember Hannett.
"Anytime you have such a wonderful person like that be taken by such a tragic event, it hurts, it hits everybody in the gut," Tortorello said.