Three teenagers involved in a very dangerous game with a bow and arrow ended with one boy fatally shot in the head on Saturday. West Virginia State Police report that 15-year-old Caleb Fairchild was killed playing a game the kids called “dodging arrows.”
During the game, Fairchild was fatally shot with an arrow by another boy. While the death is being ruled an accident, the boy who fired the arrow may be charged with either involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide, according to police.
In an interview with local TV station WCHS, trooper Randall Holden explained how the dodging arrows game worked and how the accident occurred.
“They were in the front yard, they would take turns, one of them would actually run across the yard while another one would shoot the bow. They said they weren’t trying to hit anybody, shooting into the grass, and I guess a stray arrow went up and struck Caleb in the head.”
The accident occurred on March 9 near Chapmanville, roughly 45 miles south of Charleston, West Virginia. No parents were present when the teens were playing the game, but police are not blaming the incident on lack of supervision.
Sergeant C.R. Sutphin with the state police isn’t aware of any previous incidents involving the dodging arrows game, and thinks the teens probably came up with it themselves.
“I’ve been a policeman for almost 25 years. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of it. They were just goofing around, thought it was a good idea. It’s just a bad decision, if you ask me.”
State Police spokesman Lieutenant Michael Baylous said he has heard of teens doing equally dangerous stunts, but never in West Virginia. He said the accident is really just about “poor choices.”
Last year, a 17-year-old in California was killed playing a game of Russian Roulette. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the teenage boy was playing the dangerous game with some other boys in his apartment when he fatally shot himself in the head with a.38-caliber revolver.
The teen was taken to a UCLA hospital directly across the street, but he did not survive. The death was ruled an accident by authorities.
Caleb Fairchild’s girlfriend, sixth-grader Carlee Adkins, said she received a text message from her boyfriend on Saturday night, simply saying, “Bye babe, I love you.” Caleb was on his way to a friend’s house.
Carlee thinks one of Caleb’s friends most likely suggested shooting arrows at each other, since her boyfriend wouldn’t really like an idea like that. Before now, she never even heard of the dodging arrows game.
Carlee, who took Monday off of school, says Caleb was shy and artistic. He loved music and taught her some basic skateboarding skills.
“He was a nice kid and he was easy to hang out with and be around,” she said. “He’d do anything for a person.”
It is up to the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office to decide if charges will be filed against the boy who shot the arrow. Fairchild’s parents also have the option to file charges.
“Once we get everything together, we’re going to present it to them for a possible negligent homicide charge,” Sutphin said.
Baylous said Caleb was taken to Logan Regional Medical Center initially, but was later transported to Charleston Area Medical Center and was pronounced dead.
Caleb Fairchild attended Chapmanville Middle School and was in eighth grade. On Monday, grief counselors were available to speak with students and the superintendent said a vigil will held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the school.
Due to their ages, the names of the two other boys have not been released. The dodging arrows game incident remains under investigation.
[Image via Shuttershock]