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Funeral Set for Boy Who Shot Himself, Thinking He Had Killed His Father

10.57 a.m. ET (1607 GMT) November 10, 1999

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) A funeral will be held this week for a teen-ager who shot himself in the head after mistakenly thinking he had killed his father in a hunting accident.

Chris Leif, 16, died Monday night at Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis.

His father, John Leif, 50, was released from the same hospital the next day.

The shooting occurred Oct. 30 as Chris and his father, an investment broker, were squirrel hunting in a wooded area about 100 miles southeast of Minneapolis.

Chris' .22-caliber rifle apparently fired when he stumbled and the bullet hit his father in the head, knocking him unconscious. Thinking his father was dead, Chris shot himself in the head with the rifle, Houston County Sheriff Michael Lee said.

Leif came to about four hours later and went for help.

A service for Chris will be held Friday in Mankato.

"It will be a big funeral,'' said Dave Knopick, president of Security State Bank, where the elder Leif works. "This has been such a roller-coaster ride. Just about everybody in town knows John.''

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