Stray bullet from target shooting range kills teenager boy riding with family in car
The 14-year-old, identified as Zackary Kempke, died instantly on Sunday afternoon. The rest of the family, however, remained unharmed in the incident
A Utah teenager was reportedly killed in front of his family while traveling in a car with them when a stray bullet hit him in the head, according to authorities. Reports state that the bullet was fired from a group of nearby target shooters.
The 14-year-old, identified as Zackary Kempke, was reportedly sitting in the back seat of his family car when the incident occurred. Zackary's father was driving the vehicle on a dirt road across a desolate region of the Monte Cristo range on Sunday afternoon when the bullet struck the boy, according to Deseret News.
Target shooters said they didn't know there was a road behind their firing line. The 14-year-old struck in the head and killed has been identified. https://t.co/gRNXRcV8xO— KUTV 2News (@KUTV2News) September 24, 2018
Reports state that the boy died instantly from the bullet injury, which occurred at 3 pm. The rest of the family, however, were unharmed in the incident.
Rich County Sheriff, Dale Stacey, released a statement saying that shortly after the incident, investigators concluded that the bullet was fired by one of the members of a family target shooting several hundred feet from the site of the tragedy.
The sheriff's office said: "The individual involved as well as witnesses stated that they did not know there was a road down the range and could not see the vehicle as it traveled on the road due to thick brush and trees," and added that the incident "appears to have been unintentional," New York Post reported.
"When the investigation is complete, all information and evidence will be turned over to the Rich County prosecutor for further action or charges," the office added.
UPDATE: The boy, identified by family as Zackary Kempke, of North Ogden, was riding with his father, mother and a young girl on a dirt road in a remote area of the Monte Cristo range when Zackary was shot in the head, police said. He died immediately.https://t.co/IUCTD3HrHv— Deseret News (@DeseretNews) September 25, 2018
Authorities have said that no charges have been filed in the case yet.
The victim's uncle, Cory Hopkins, while talking to KSL-TV said: "He didn’t even know what happened, he was gone that fast." He added that the family was in the region to take group photos to send to Zackary's older brother who is currently serving as a Mormon missionary, according to reports.
"He was like the center of attention. He was a comic, he liked to make people laugh…But he had a serious side. He was very spiritual. … He was a good kid. He was family-oriented. [W]e all just can’t believe that he’s not going to be around," Hopkins said of his nephew.