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Burglar killed by homeowner

Originally ran here as:
"Sturgeon teen dies from shot Callaway authorities investigating death."
by Justin Willett, Tribune's staff
Columbia Daily Tribune
September 1, 2001

The mother of a Sturgeon teenager who was fatally shot in Callaway County said she knows little about the circumstances surrounding her son's death.

Jonathan Gramling, 18, was pronounced dead yesterday at University Hospital, nearly 12 hours after Callaway deputies responded to a report that a burglar had been shot at a Millersburg residence.

"My son was found dead with a shotgun next to him in a Callaway County driveway," Jonathan's mother, Deanna Gramling, said. "I'm sure this is a nasty, messy investigation. My son was shot point-blank in the forehead, it is definitely a homicide."

A news release from the sheriff's department, however, said that a burglar was caught around 1 a.m. yesterday inside a home in the Millersburg area and that the home's resident fired a shot at the burglar, who was taken to University Hospital with a serious injury. The news release was unclear about whether Gramling was the alleged intruder.

Gramling was pronounced dead at 12:15 p.m. Repeated calls to the Callaway County Sheriff's Department - seeking details about Gramling's death and about the potential for any criminal charges in the shooting - were rebuffed.

"You're being a pain in the ass," Detective Tim Osburn said just before hanging up on a reporter for the third time. "Stop bugging us."

Gramling said she, too, has few details. "All we know is that our son has passed on," she said. "They are very much keeping us in the dark." Gramling said her son was a student at Hallsville High School but had not recently attended.

Jay Dix, medical examiner for Boone and Callaway counties, was scheduled to perform an autopsy on Jonathan Gramling today. The investigation is continuing.

Reach Justin Willett at (573) 815-1720

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