Small town copes with accidental shooting death of teen
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DRAIN, Ore. -- A 16-year-old boy was accidentally shot and killed Thursday night in Drain by his 15-year-old friend, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said.
The victim, identified by classmates as Austin Lundeen, was a member of the North Douglas High School Warrior football team.
"He was definitely a character and kind of kept things alive on the team," said coach JJ Mast. "So you know, it's still setting in, we're all having a pretty tough time."
His best friend, also a member of the football team, accidentally shot him as he passed Lundeen a hunting rifle.
Friday night's football game was canceled as the community grieved for Lundeen and his family.
"They were at our house," said Bill Gasswint, a parent who saw both boys earlier in the day. "Just came over to visit the girls, come and talk, hang out on our front porch."
At around 10:45 p.m., deputies were called to a report of a fatal shooting that occurred at a residence in the 3800 block of Hayhurst Road in Drain.
The Sheriff's office says deputies found the teen deceased at the location.
Deputies say the victim had been spending the night at his friend's house. The boys were in the bedroom together when deputies say they decided to handle a hunting rifle belonging to the 15-year-old.
The younger boy was handing the rifle to his friend when the rifle accidentally discharged and struck the teen, the sheriff's office said.
The shooting was investigated by the Sheriff's Office and the Douglas County Deputy Medical Examiner's Office and determined to be accidental.