Sheriff: Winter Haven teen's shooting death appears accidental

- A 14-year-old boy was killed by what is likely an accidental shotgun blast, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

"They thought it was cool to look at the firearm," said Judd. "They didn't know what they were doing."

Deputies say Kyler Daughtry was in a room at the Lakmar Resort Motel with two other teenage neighbors,19-year-old Donovan Hoover and a 16-year-old when they started playing with a shotgun, legally owned by Hoover's caregiver.

Donovan left the room, then heard the 16-year-old say,

"This is how you load a shotgun."

Then Donovan heard a single shot, and Daughtry's mother ran in.

"She is the one who found him on the floor. What she saw, she shouldn't have seen," said Julie Lehman, the property manager at the Lakmar.

Colt White, Kyler's neighbor at the motel for seven months said they played frequently together.

"He was a good friend and a good kid," said White. "He made me feel important and like a real friend."

Family wanted FOX 13 to relay a message of gun safety. Sheriff Grady Judd says his team will spend months investigating and that charges are possible.

"We have no indication at this point it was intentional, but we see a lot of negligence, we see teenagers that didn't know how to handle a firearm."

The loss of Kyler Daughtry, who school officials said in a statement was a "Sweet, loving young man, who said good morning everyday, who was a joy to have in our world," is a nightmare.

"I woke up this morning and all the police cars were gone, all the police tape is gone," said Lehman. "I was like this didn't really happen, yeah, it did."

He'll be missed by White.

"I am sorry for the loss, but I am sure he is happy up in heaven right now.:

There were grief counselors on hand at school Tuesday and are expected to be there Wednesday.

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