Fatal shooting of teen cancer survivor deemed accidental, friend - KMOV.com

Fatal shooting of teen cancer survivor deemed accidental, friend charged

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Jewell Q. Smith, 20, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his friend, 19-year-old Cole Weirciszewski. (Credit: Belleville Police) Jewell Q. Smith, 20, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his friend, 19-year-old Cole Weirciszewski. (Credit: Belleville Police)
Cole Weirciszewski with his father. (Credit: Family Photo) Cole Weirciszewski with his father. (Credit: Family Photo)
Cole Weircizewski (Credit: Family Photo) Cole Weircizewski (Credit: Family Photo)
Cole Weircizewski with his father. (Credit: Family Photo) Cole Weircizewski with his father. (Credit: Family Photo)
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Police have charged Jewell Q. Smith, 20, of Fairview Heights, with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Cole Weirciszewski. 

In a news conference Friday, police said there was a group of young men handling a shotgun when it suddenly went off, killing Weirciszewski. According to police, there were 7 people inside the house at the time of the incident, all of whom were friends. It is believed the teen's death was not intentional.

Police said, "This was a tragedy that could have been avoided."

Smith's bond was set at $100,000.

Police determined the 20-gauge shotgun that accidentally went off was recently purchased by the victim.

“This guy was just a genuinely well-rounded person. I was just really glad to have met him,” said Matthew Riewski.

Riewski cherishes the time he spent with his friend, who reportedly overcame cancer and even donated to help others through St. Baldrick’s.

“Somebody who was just a real kind soul who would be there for you, even if nobody else would be there for you,” said Riewski.

Weirciszewski was also taking classes at Southwestern Illinois College, where he made the community college’s dean’s list back in Fall 2015.

Monday, he was shot in the chest at his home on the 100 block of Paulette Drive near Illinois Route 13 and Frank Scott Parkway in unincorporated St. Clair County.

Police told News 4 two friends found Weirciszewski wounded and drove him to Memorial Hospital in Belleville at about 5:15 pm Monday. Less than 30 minutes later, he was pronounced dead.

The Major Case Squad had 15 detectives working the case.

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