Funeral set for teen killed in hunting accident
By REBECCA McCARTHY
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/28/07
Family and friends will gather Wednesday afternoon to remember a
14-year-old boy from Buford who died following a hunting accident
during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Zachery Gibson, a freshman at Mill Creek High School in Hoschton,
was shot in the chest with a .22 rifle Friday evening. He had been
hunting in Pine Mountain Valley, a rural part of Harris County north
of Columbus, with another 14-year-old boy when the accident occurred.
A third unidentified child, a girl, was with the two boys. They had
been squirrel hunting when one spotted a squirrel, turned and fired,
hitting Zachery, said Lt. Jim Price of the Harris County Sheriff's
Department. The accident happened shortly before 6 p.m., when night
was falling, he said.
The boys were in the same extended family, said Junior Flanigan,
director of the Flanigan Funeral Home in Buford, which is handling the
funeral. Flanigan didn't know how they were related.
Price said the boys had been hunting on private land adjacent to
the house where the grandmother of the unidentified boy lives.
Emergency medical workers arrived on the scene at the same time as the
sheriff's deputies, Price said. Zachery was flown to Children's
Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where he was pronounced dead early
No charges will be filed against the boy who shot Zachery, said
A service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Ivy Creek Baptist Church
in Buford. Pastor Jim Ferguson said Zachery's death was "a tragic loss
to the family. It's a tragic loss to our church, our community and
Rick Lavender, a spokesman for the state Department of Human
Resources Wildlife Resource Division, said the 14-year-old who shot
Zachery had completed a hunting education class. Such classes permit
children 12 to 15 years old to hunt without a supervising adult
present. Those older than 16 must have a hunting license.
The Friday shooting marks the fourth hunting-related fatality in
Georgia since July, Lavender said.
Zachery is survived by his parents, two sisters, grandparents and
Zachery's parents could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
"They are heartbroken," Flanigan said.
Staff writer Andria Simmons contributed to this article.