Teen killed by target shooter identified, family has let go of anger

School portrait of Zackary Kempke

The teen who was fatally shot in the head on Sunday has been identified as Zack Kempke. A resident of North Ogden, Zack was riding in a Jeep with his family near the Monte Cristo Highway in Rich County when a stray bullet from target shooters struck him in the head.

According to the Associated Press, an uncle of the 14-year-old says the family has let go of their anger over the tragedy.

Cory Hopkins, Zack’s uncle, says his nephew was “loving” and “very family oriented.” The teen is described as being very spiritual, loved video games and the band KISS.

Rich County Sheriff Dale Stacey said the bullet was fired at a target several hundred feet from the truck. According to the shooter, and other witnesses, it was not known that there was a road down range, and the vehicle was not seen due to thick brush and trees.

Hopkins says the teen’s family initially felt some anger about the accident and questioned why the shooters were not using a backstop or used more caution.

However, Hopkins says the family has “completely” let go of those feelings. They also don’t want Zack’s death to become a topic in any kind of gun control debate, but they do want to stress gun safety and being aware of your surroundings.

No charges have been filed. Once the investigation is complete though, all information and evidence will be turned over to the Rich County Prosecutor to determine if further action is warranted.

A fund for the family has been set up at America First Credit Union, in addition to a GoFundMe page.

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