DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of people are expected to pay their respects to a North Texas teenager who was killed this past week. Nathan Maki from Guyer High School in Denton was shot in the head on Saturday during a hunting trip with three friends. His death rocked the community, and the Denton Independent School District is trying to help students and staff members cope with the loss.
“He would get the block you need. He would get you the catch you need to get the first down – and that really transpired into his life,” said fellow classmate Mario Zavala.
The 18-year-old senior was a standout football player for the Wildcats, and coaches said that he had a big personality.
The student’s death has been ruled accidental. Law enforcement officials said that Maki was shot as he and three other teenagers were out dove hunting in Montague County. The teen who called 911 was charged with alcohol possession. The Montague Country District Attorney still plans to review the case.
Students gathered outside of Guyer High School on Thursday morning to paint “Nate #33” on their car windows. They then flipped on their caution lights and proceeded to Cross Timbers Church in Argyle for his 11:00 a.m. funeral service.
More than 2,200 students attend Guyer High School, and more than 500 of those students are seniors. Cross Timbers Church holds around 1,300 people, and was prepared for an overflow crowd at Maki’s funeral service.
The Wildcats play their first football game since Maki’s death on Thursday night, and a special tribute to the student has been planned. The game takes place at their own stadium, but Maki was a well-known and well-liked member of the community. Many people from numerous North Texas schools are expected to be at Thursday’s events.
Some area school districts are even using Maki’s death as an opportunity to teach kids about the dangers of alcohol and firearms.
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