ISP Inconclusive on How Juvenile Obtained Gun For Shooting at Sangamon Juvenile Detention Facility in September

By Benjamin Cox on March 19, 2024 at 12:53pm

The Illinois State Police have concluded their investigation of an officer-involved shooting at the Sangamon County Juvenile Detention Center back on September 11th, and no charges have been filed in the case by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The Illinois Times reports that the ISP investigation failed to determine how 17-year old Camren M. Darden was able to obtain a handgun that he fired inside the Sangamon County Juvenile Detention Facility, and carried as he tried to escape the facility with a hostage before being shot multiple times by veteran Springfield police officer Brian Riebeling with a semi-automatic rifle.

Reibeling has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office and according to Springfield Chief of Police Ken Scarlette, he will not face any internal discipline.

According to a statement by Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Milhiser obtained by the Illinois Times, there was no evidence in the investigation to support a finding that the juvenile had an accomplice or was otherwise assisted in obtaining the gun nor did the investigation conclusively determine how the gun got into the detention center and into the hands of the juvenile.

The weapon – a Turkish-made Girsan 9 mm pistol – can be seen on the ground at the entrance to the detention center along South Dirksen Parkway in narrated video of the incident released by the Springfield Police Department on December 6th. Springfield Police Chief Kenneth Scarlette said Darden was “patted down” to check for weapons when he was arrested, put in a squad car and brought to the police station for questioning before he was brought to the detention center.

The juvenile detention facility has been closed since the shooting to allow for the investigation of the shooting, causing a disruption to the juvenile justice system in the 7th Circuit, which includes Morgan County. Chief Judge of the 7th Circuit Chris Reif told the Illinois Times that the goal is to reopen the facility as soon as it is safe to, prioritizing the safety of the juveniles detained there as well as staff. There has been no estimated timetable for reopening the facility. Director of Sangamon County Court Services Kent Holsopple, told Illinois Times on Monday that additional security infrastructure will need to be purchased.

Since the temporary closure of the facility, at least a half dozen Sangamon County juveniles and Morgan County juveniles have either been shipped to facilities in other counties or have been released to family members despite meeting criteria for detention.