Bible-clutching teen dies after Taser shots

JERSEYVILLE, Ill. — Illinois authorities said a teenager holding a Bible and shouting “I want Jesus” died after being shot by a police stun gun.

Police said the 17-year-old was shot twice with a stun gun after he became combative with officers trying to subdue him. He died Sunday night at a St. Louis hospital.

An investigation is under way in the town of Jerseyville, about 40 miles north of St. Louis. A police statement said the department has been using stun guns for about five months.

A recent Amnesty International report counted at least 156 deaths across the U.S. related to police stun guns. The group has urged police departments to suspend the use of Tasers pending more study.

An autopsy is planned for today.

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This post was last updated: Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 1:56 PM, Central European Time (CET)