Prayer vigil held for gunshot victim

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

NEDERLAND — The bleachers at Bulldog Stadium were filled with dozens of families, students and educators Tuesday evening.

But nobody was cheering.

The crowd gathered to pray for and offer support to the Carter family and, in particular, Colson Carter whom authorities say was accidentally shot in the head by his twin brother, Colby, on Monday.

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According to Capt. Ken DeFoor with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, two 14-year-old twin boys were playing near a ditch near County Road 2341 near Dayton when they saw a snake. Both boys ran to get .22 rifles.

“They ran back to the ditch and the boy who was shot was near the culvert and the other boy who shot him was standing a few feet from the culvert and as he started to shoot the snake, the other boy knelt down and that put him in the line of fire,” DeFoor said.

The captain said the boy was shot an inch above his right ear.

He said deputies got a call at 3:45 p.m. and the victim was not responsive at the scene. The boy was taken to Herman Hospital and taken to emergency surgery. On Tuesday afternoon, DeFoor said he didn’t know the boy’s condition, but he understood the boy to be in recovery.

DeFoor said he could not say for sure whether the boys were living full time with grandparents in Liberty County, which is northwest of Jefferson County, or whether he was just visiting his family.

The family was not present at the Tuesday vigil, but plenty of friends attended.

The boys were popular at Central Middle School and the accident came as a horrible surprise as news broke across social media Tuesday morning.

“I was shocked,” Nicholas Breaux said. Breaux is an eighth grader and on the football team with Colson.

“I didn’t believe it,” he added. “I started to tear up. He was a goo dude. It’s sad because he was the fun of the bunch.”

Breaux said he was comforted remembering words from his football coach.

“It’s like the coach said, we’re all brothers,” Breaux said.

The boys were liked by peers and teachers alike.

“They’re a ray of sunshine,” said Jessi Farmer. Farmer is an eighth grade teacher at Central Middle School and she said the small school family reacted at once to the news. Her colleague, Brittnee Garner said she heard about the incident at 8 a.m. Tuesday and by 10 a.m., a vigil was planned.

“We couldn’t do this without the community we have,” Garner said.

Garner said the heavy lifting is in God’s hands, and the purpose of the prayer vigil was to ask God to help heal Colson.

Pastor Ryan Thompson of Cornerstone Church in Nederland brought much the same message when he addressed the crowd.

“You hold Colson’s life in the palm of Your hand,” Thompson prayed. “We cry out to You to hear our prayers.”

While there is no Gofundme page, Thompson said donations for the family may be made through his church. The Cornerstone Church is located at 1222 Boston Ave. in Nederland and the phone number is 409-718-6514.