14-year-old Utah Boy Shot in Head by Stray Bullet While Driving Near a Target Range

Zackary Kempke, 14, of North Ogden, was travelling in a car with his parents and sister when a stray bullet from a nearby firing range struck him in the head, killing him. The incident occured on Sunday at around 3 p.m. while the family was driving Monte Cristo trails.

Speaking to NBC, Zackary's uncle, Cory Hopkins, said: "They went up for a drive to take pictures of the leaves changing when they heard an explosion in the back seat. When my brother-in-law looked back he saw that his son was in his daughter's lap and there was blood everywhere."

Hopkins told Deseret News Utah that Zackary was a "loving" boy. "He was like the center of attention. He was a comic. He liked to make people laugh. You know, but he had a serious side. He was very spiritual."

According to the Rich County Sheriff's Office, the shooters, who were also on a family excursion, were unaware that there was a road downrange as it was obscured by trees and vegetation. Police said that initial investigations lead them to believe the shot was unintentional. No charges have yet been laid by police, and no names were released.

"When the investigation is complete, all information and evidence will be turned over to the Rich County Prosecutor for further action or charges," police said.

Hopkins said the extended family of the victim were initially angry with the shooter's family, but have since come to terms with the accident. "We've all had time to think, and you know… that family's going to live with this for the rest of their life. I think that's tragic on that point too. It was a reaction to the situation, and it was done."

Not everyone has been as understanding. Comments on the Rich County Sheriff's Facebook page are calling for the shooter to be charged with manslaughter. "Please identify the man who negligently shot and killed 14 year-old Zack Kempke and charge him with manslaughter," one person said. "It is absolutely outrageous to me that you are concealing this man's identity after he deprived this beautiful boy of his life and all the wonderful years he had ahead of him."

Another person wrote: "Shooters responsibility to know what is beyond a target, like a dirt bank?! Same with game! Know what's behind what you're shooting at for crying out loud!"