Local News

Father Of Shooting Victim Discusses Tragic Accident That Took Son's Life

Posted November 25, 2003

— The father of a Lee County teenager who was shot and killed during a hunting trip with his cousin spoke about the tragic accident Monday for the first time since his son's death.

During an interview for WRAL at a TV station in Greenville, S.C., Pierce Sheets said he hopes other families will learn from the tragedy he is living through.

He also offered new insight on the day his son, Daniel, died.

Two weeks ago, people were in an all-out search in areas of Lee County and Harnett County for 14-year-old Daniel Sheets. The next day, he was found shot to death in what was believed to be a hunting accident.

Although the shooting was ruled an accident, Daniel's cousin confessed to shooting him.

"Apparently, there was a scuffle going on, in play, and the cousin pointed the gun at him in play and pulled the trigger," Pierce Sheets said, "and killed him instantly."

Pierce Sheets lives in Georgia, divorced from Daniel's mother. He said his trip to North Carolina earlier this month was the most difficult in his life.

"I'm probably, to a large degree, still in a state of shock," he said.

Sheets said he feels no ill will toward the shooter, who was Daniel's cousin. Sheets said he has known the boy all his life.

"The thing I would like to hear from him is that he truly is very brokenhearted and sorrowful that it happened," he said.

Sheets said he hopes other parents will learn to preach safety to their children.

"It's so sad anybody has to go through this," he said. "But if someone can learn from it, I think that's a positive."

The boy who pulled the trigger faces a juvenile petition for involuntary manslaughter. If he stays out of trouble until he is 18, his record will be cleared.

Sheets said the charges are fine -- the real punishment for the boy is waking up each day knowing what he did.

The district attorney told WRAL on Monday that no charges will be filed against the parents who allowed their son to have access to a gun.

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