Local News

Gunman pleads guilty to firing shot that killed a child through hotel room wall

Posted June 27, 2016

— Randall Louis Vater of Knightdale pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy. Nathan Andrew Clark, of Lewisville, was asleep in a Raleigh hotel room when a shot fired by Vater penetrated the wall and killed him.

Nathan Andrew Clark, of Lewisville, was asleep in a Raleigh hotel room in November 2014 when Vater fired a shot that penetrated a wall and killed him.

The incident came less than a month after Vater was released from Wake County jail, where he served seven months for violating a domestic violence protective order.

Judge Reuben Young agreed to drop a firearms charge in exchange for Vater's plea and sentenced him to 138 to 178 months (approximately 11 to 15 years) in prison.

Young found and Vater agreed that, with a criminal record including 28 convictions over several decades, he is a habitual felon. Vater's record includes hit-and-run, communicating threats, assault on a female, breaking and entering and multiple protective orders.

Nathan's mother, Valerie Clark, spoke to Vater in court and said she struggles every day.

"There have been countless days I haven’t been able to leave my house without having an anxiety attack and crying continuously," she said. "I’m a broken,lonely, anxious confused woman but God has never left my side."

Nathan was an eighth-grader at Calvary Baptist Day School in Winston-Salem and played varsity soccer for the school. His family was in Raleigh for a soccer tournament at the time of his death.

"I miss his daily hugs, I miss his caring heart," Valerie Clark said.

Police said a shot fired in an adjacent room at the Comfort Suites hotel on Corporation Parkway went through a wall and hit Nathan in the head.


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  • Mark Cooper Jun 28, 2016
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    What is amazing to me is that Vater only gets 11-15 as a habitual felon while the guy that robbed Scotty McCreery got 17 years and did not shot / kill anyone.

  • Priscilla Spain Jun 28, 2016
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    Prayers for Randy and the Clark family.

  • Vince DiSena Jun 27, 2016
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    This is beyond tragic. A multiple time offender. But why is he being referred to as a "gunman"? He is a hardened criminal. Gunman is a very narrow description. But I guess it fits your biased agenda.

  • Bernadette Dan Unger Jun 27, 2016
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    All of his past crimes and still he gets 11-15 for killing a sleeping kid, bet the parents are real thankful to the justice system in making this young boys life so unimportant.

  • Lance Boyle Jun 27, 2016
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    This is so sad, so tragic. I guess if we are surrounded by people with the flu then we are more likely to catch the flu and if we are surrounded by people with guns we are more likely to get shot. Statistics 101