Champaign man who shot himself arrested

URBANA — A Champaign man who shot himself in the head during a traffic stop in Champaign in August was arrested Tuesday.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz obtained an arrest warrant Friday for Russell Primmer, 20, who listed an address in the 2500 block of Clayton Boulevard, charging him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, a Class 2 felony.

About 1:20 a.m. on Aug. 14, Champaign police Sgt. Geoff Coon stopped a car near the intersection of Sixth Street and Bradley Avenue for an alleged traffic violation. He asked the driver, later identified as Primmer, to get out, and as he did, Primmer could be seen on squad car video removing a gun from his pants and putting it to his head.

Coon, who was less than a foot from Primmer, struggled with him and the gun fired, striking Primmer in the head.

Chief Anthony Cobb said later that Primmer apparently had no intention of hurting Coon, just himself. He also said it appeared Primmer had been drinking.

Cobb said Coon was injured but treated and released. He was off on paid leave for an undisclosed amount of time after the incident but is back to work on light duty. Police declined to say how he was hurt.

Rietz said Primmer is on parole for robbery for an August 2011 robbery for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. She said she thought Primmer was released from the hospital a few days after the shooting and had been seen on campus allegedly drinking, prompting her to seek the warrant.

Judge Tom Difanis set bond on the warrant at $500,000.

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