Hundreds Come to Funeral for 11-Year Old Orange Park Boy | News
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Hundreds of people attended the Saturday morning funeral of 11-year old Seth Lasater who died from an accidental gunshot wound Tuesday.
Cars filled the church parking lot and spilled out onto the side streets and family members and friends came to pay thier final respects.
Lasater was shot late Sunday night when he and his older brother were looking at a .22 rifle in a bedroom when it discharged. Police say they did not realize it was loaded.
The Clay County Sheriff's Office confirmed that 11-year-old Seth Lasater died just after noon Tuesday.
"It is with great sadness that our agency members confirm the passing of accidental shooting victim Seth Lasater of Orange Park," said Clay County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Mary Justino in a statement.
Seth's father received hugs and words of encouragement at a vigil in the family's yard Tuesday evening.
"We're just heartbroken," Tammy Kane told First Coast News. Kane's daughter attended school with Lasater.
According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, Seth was accidentally shot in the head by his older brother while they were in a bedroom of their home on Kevin Drive around 11 p.m. Sunday.
Investigators said the boys' mother and grandfather were also home at the time.
"Seth was one of those kids that just absolutely lit up a neighborhood," said family friend Bob Carther. "He knew everybody. He didn't have an enemy in the world. He always had a smile on his face and he was just a real joy to be around."
After thanking everyone for support and prayers, Carter led the group of more than 100 in a moment of silence and a prayer, calling Seth a shining light in the neighborhood.
"We've lost a good neighbor but God's gained an angel," Carter said. "An 11-year-old leaving this earth... it's way too early."
Staff at Seth Lasater's school, Grove Park Elementary, called him respectful and a model student.
Lasater had just finished the fifth grade. Assistant Principal Anthony Bradley said the child was on the track team and in the science club.
"He's the kind of child you'd want in a class," Bradley said.
Bradley said he and the staff at the school immediately started praying for the family when they heard what happened.
On Monday night, friends and neighbors met at the Lasater's home and lit candles for Seth and his family.
"We're all saying 'we miss him and we love him,'" said Trey Bailey, while he signed a poster for Lasater.
"He's like a brother to me," added Bryce Collison.
Lasater suffered critical injuries after the .22-caliber rifle discharged; he was taken to Shands Jacksonville for treatment.
The sheriff's office considers the incident accidental, although the investigation is continuing.
"He's the best friend I've ever had," said Ian Bigden, who said he visited Lasater's family at the hospital Monday and was overcome when he saw his friend.
"I was crying. It was really hard to see him," Bigden said.
He said he also spoke to Lasater's older brother. "He was devastated," Bigden said. "He did not mean for this in any way, shape or form."
A Clay County investigator also said Lasater's 13-year-old brother was "distraught" after the accident.
Bigden said he's known Seth for several years and that he loved track, swimming and making people laugh.
"The one thing we'll probably remember about Seth most is his smile and the way he lights up the room," Bigden said.