GALVA — Formal charges could be filed Wednesday morning against a Galva man suspected of shooting a Galva teen following a confrontation after a traffic crash early Tuesday. An autopsy was performed on the teen Tuesday.
Xavier T. Hartman, 19, Southeast 8th Avenue in Galva, was pronounced dead in the emergency room of OSF HealthCare St. Luke Medical Center in Kewanee.
James E. Love, 58, Knox Road 2000 E in Galva, is charged with felony counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm and aggravated battery with a firearm, according to a news release from the Knox County Sheriff’s Department. Love is currently in the Knox County jail waiting a court appearance.
Knox County Sheriff Dave Clague said Tuesday afternoon that “if the injuries would support a second-degree murder charge,” Knox County will pursue it. It is expected formal charges will be filed by the Knox County State’s Attorney’s Office Wednesday ahead of a possible video court hearing Wednesday afternoon.
Clague further said charges would stem from a conversation between a forensic pathologist involved in the autopsy and Knox County detectives. He also said it is not believed Hartman and Love knew each other, but that was still being looked into.
“To my knowledge, Hartman did not have a weapon ... never been a mention of a weapon” so far in the investigation, Clague said at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
According to a news release from the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, Hartman was shot in the leg after having a confrontation with a man who came to assist him after a traffic crash.
Hartman was reportedly driving a black Chevrolet pickup truck and crashed in the area of 2900 Knox Road 2000 East at about 12:33 a.m. Tuesday. The truck was found resting on the driver’s side and on the west side of the roadway.
Thirty yards north of the crash site, Stark County EMS were treating Hartman and Love.
The news release said Love lives about 300 yards away from the crash site and heard the crash and yelling. He left his home and went to the crash.
“Once at the scene, a confrontation occurred between Hartman and Love. Love allegedly discharged two rounds from a 9mm semiautomatic Ruger handgun with one round striking the thigh of Hartman,” the news release said.
Love received care for a laceration at OSF HealthCare St. Mary Medical Center after being transported to the Galesburg hospital by a Knox County deputy. After receiving medical care, he was taken into custody by Knox County officials.
Another person was located who was a passenger in Hartman’s vehicle. That individual said they fled the area on foot at the beginning of the confrontation between the two men, the news release said.
Illinois State Police Accident Reconstruction Team and ISP Crime Scene Investigator are handling the scene.
An autopsy of Hartman was scheduled for noon on Tuesday in Peoria “in an attempt to determine the cause of death,” the news release said.
The following agencies assisted KCSD in the case: Galva police; Henry County and Stark County sheriff’s departments; Galva fire; Bishop fire; and Stark County EMS.
Robert Connelly: (309) 343-7181, ext. 266; email@example.com; @RConnelly_