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URBANA — Urbana police say a Champaign man who claimed to have been the victim of a drive-by shooting Thursday afternoon shot himself in the foot, literally and figuratively.

Sgt. Dave Smysor said Friday that James E. Brown, 24, ultimately admitted that he lied to police and was given a notice to appear in court next month for reckless discharge of a gun.

The state’s attorney’s office will decide what charges to file against him.

Symsor said police were sent to Eureka and Romine streets for shots fired at 3:52 p.m. When they got there, they learned that Brown had been taken to the nearby OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center emergency room for injuries to his foot.

As some officers spoke with Brown, who said he’d been fired on by a passing vehicle, others searched the area where the shots had been fired, spoke with witnesses and took a closer look at the physical evidence.

"Based on the totality of information, detectives confronted Brown about what occurred. Brown eventually told detectives that he shot himself in the foot accidentally while he was driving and then fired several more shots into the air in an attempt to cover up the negligent discharge of his firearm,” Smysor said.

He’s due in court Sept. 5.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).