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Sheriff: High School Student Death Appears Accidental

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MONTAGUE COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The death of a Denton-Guyer High school student appears to be an accident, according to Montague County Sheriff investigators.

Nathan Maki, 18, was shot in the head and killed in a rural field near Bowie on Saturday.

Investigators say another teen, identified as 17 year-old Michael Underwood, fired the rifle that killed Maki.  Two other teenage girls were present at the time of the shooting.

Michael Underwood, charged with underage drinking after the Montague County Sheriff says he accidentally shot and killed his friend, Nate Maki.  (credit: Montague County Sheriff's Office)

Michael Underwood, charged with underage drinking.  The Montague County Sheriff says Underwood accidentally shot and killed his friend, Nathan Maki.
(credit: Montague County Sheriff’s Office)

Investigators say the teens were camping and the boys planned to go hunting the next morning. Beer cans were found at the scene, although investigators say they do not know who provided the alcohol for the teens.

“At this time there’s no evidence of this being an intentional shooting, and it’s an extreme tragedy to all those involved,” said Sheriff Paul Cunningham.

The teenage girls, who witnessed the shooting, immediately left the scene.

“Their best friend just died.  There was alcohol involved. They were scared and just fled the scene. That’s not uncommon,” said Cunningham.

Investigators were able to track down the girls and have now interviewed all the witnesses.  They are still looking to talk to a few other people as they complete the investigation.

Underwood has been charged with alcohol possession, but no other charges are pending.  The district attorney will make a final determination about and possible charges once investigation is complete.

Meanwhile, “safe rooms” were set up for students returning to Denton Guyer for the first day since losing their classmate.

The district spokesperson Mario Zavala says those are private rooms where students can talk with counselors, share memories and leave the Maki family a note about their beloved son.

“It’s sad though that it happened to such a young person – such a great person,” said student Tiara Singleton. “But we are going to get through this.”

One of Guyer High School’s colors has also taken on new meaning.

Students, teachers and staff wore all shades of blue to remember Maki, who was a standout football fullback.

Denton Guyer High students wear blue to honor and remember Nate Maki. (credit: Denton-Guyer)

Denton Guyer High students wear blue to honor and remember Nate Maki. (credit: Denton-Guyer)

Students in other districts even some rivals also wore the color to honor him.

Lake Dallas High students participate in "blue out" to honor and remember killed Denton-Guyer High student Nate Maki.  (credit: Lake Dallas High)

Lake Dallas High students participate in “blue out” to honor and remember killed Denton-Guyer High student Nate Maki. (credit: Lake Dallas High)

Colleyville Heritage High School students took part in the “blue out.”  The school plays Guyer on Thursday night where there will be a special dedication to Maki.

In the days after Maki’s death, members of the student ministry at Denton Bible Church listened, cried and consoled students coping with Maki’s sudden death.  Dozens of Guyer students go to the church.

“We knew that we didn’t have all the answers that they were looking for, but we also knew that we had the answer in the person of Jesus,” said Jason Fanning, Director of Student Ministry at Denton Bible Church. “I think the hardest part for them is not now.  It’s in three weeks when everybody is gone and they are still there at night thinking about Nate and the memories that would keep them up.”

Maki’s funeral will be on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Cross Timbers Church in Argyle.

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