Arkansas Man, 20, Dies After Being Shot in 'Tragic' Hunting Incident

A 20-year-old man has died following a suspected hunting accident in Arkansas last Sunday, local law enforcement officials have said.

Yell County Sheriff Bill Gilkey confirmed on Monday that his department and officers of the state's Game and Fish Commission had each responded to a shooting at Carden Bottoms, which is in Galla Rock Township near Dardanelle, on January 17.

The victim, Jared James Sykes, 20, was taken to Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center in Russellville with a single gunshot wound, where he died from his injuries.

While authorities have not released further information about events leading up to the shooting, Yell County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief John Foster told KFSM that it was reported as a hunting accident. Officials said an investigation remains ongoing.

An obituary for the victim published by the Courier News said the 20-year-old, who was from the city of Dardanelle, had died after a "tragic hunting incident." He was a student at the Arkansas Tech University and a member of the Arkansas National Guard.

The obituary for the victim continued: "Jared brought light and mischief into the world from the day he was born until the moment his family lost him.

"If you knew Jared, you probably have a story to share. He could make you laugh until you cried. He was smart, handsome, kind, loving, caring, ornery, mischievous and just downright likeable. He was known for his laidback, 'It'll be alright' attitude.

"He was loved immensely and mothered by many, in addition to his own mom, but he took it all in stride—often by ignoring the extra input with a grin and a nod. Jared would do anything needed for family and friends—from moving furniture to having a caring, listening ear. Family and friends were important to him and he lived that out."

According to the CBS-affiliated KFSM, Sykes' body was transferred to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner, who will determine and record the final cause of death.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says in an online fact-sheet that anyone over the age of 16 is required to have a license to hunt wildlife in the state, unless the person is on a licensed game-bird shooting resort that supplies pen-raised birds.

It was not immediately known what Sykes was hunting and how many people he was with at the time of the incident. A Game and Fish Commission official told Newsweek via email that information was not yet known, and the probe will continue.

KFSM reported another fatal hunting accident involving a 14-year-old boy occurred in November last year after a firearm discharged as it was being loaded onto a truck.

Hunter spotting game (iStock)
File photo: Hunter spotting game. A 20-year-old man (not pictured) has died following a suspected hunting accident in Arkansas last Sunday, law enforcement said. iStock