MONTAGUE (September 3, 2013)—The weekend shooting death of Denton Guyer High School football player Nathan Maki, 17, appears to have been accidental, Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham said Tuesday.
“At this time there's no evidence of this being an intentional shooting,” Cunningham said, “and it’s an extreme tragedy to all those involved."
Maki, a senior fullback and linebacker on the defending Class 4A Division I state championship team, was found late Saturday night with a gunshot wound to the head in a pickup truck in a field close to Bowie.
He died later at Bowie Memorial Hospital.
Cunningham said Maki, a 17-year-old boy and two 18-year-old girls were camping and planned to do some dove hunting Sunday when the boy accidentally shot Maki with a rifle.
The girls fled, and the boy was arrested for underage possession of alcohol.
Beer cans were found at the scene, but investigators don’t yet know from where the alcohol came, Cunningham said.
“Their best friend just died, there was alcohol involved. They were scared and just fled the scene. That's not uncommon,” Cunningham said.
Denton Guyer won the Class 4A Division I state championship last season.
Head coach John Walsh described Maki as a leader both on and off the field.
“It’s a big loss to Guyer High School,” he said.
"Our team, school, community, and most of all the family of Nate Maki, have suffered a great loss,” a statement posted on a team’s Website and on Facebook said.