RALEIGH, N.C. – A 13-year-old soccer player from Lewisville was shot and killed at a hotel after police said a man in another room accidentally fired a gun.
Randall Louis Vater, 42, of Knightdale, is charged in the death of Nathan Andrew Clark, who witnesses said was in Raleigh for a soccer tournament.
Raleigh police said the suspect and victim were in separate rooms at the Comfort Suites hotel at 1309 Corporation Parkway when the shooting occurred on Friday night.
Police said the suspect accidentally discharged a firearm and a round went through a wall and fatally hit the victim. Officials said the suspect and victim did not know each other.
Clark was pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities. He was a soccer player for the North Carolina Fusion.
The suspect has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Clark was in Raleigh to play in the Capital Area Soccer League this weekend. His team has since pulled out of the tournament.
The Capital Area Soccer League released the following statement:
"We awoke this morning with great sadness to the unsettling news that Nathan Clark tragically lost his life late Friday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nathan's family and to his extended soccer family: the North Carolina Fusion players, parents, and coaches. We find some solace knowing that a man has been charged in connection with this incident. However, we can only imagine the pain and sorrow the Clark family is experiencing in the wake of this tragedy. We respect their wishes for privacy during this difficult time."
Scott Wollaston, the executive director of Twin City Youth Soccer Association, released the following statement:
"We are immensely saddened by the tragic news about Nathan Clark. Nathan has been a part of our Twin City Soccer Family for nearly 7 years, where he came through many of our programs, and worked with many of our coaching staff. He was a fantastic kid, a great teammate, had a wonderful personality, was extremely respectful, and was always fun to be around. On the field, he was an excellent soccer player. He was one of the most competitive kids we've seen, and he did NOT like to lose. He always left everything he had on the field. As one coach put it, “He had an appetite for the game.” He was so passionate about soccer, and always wanted to learn, improve, watch the game, and play the game.
This loss is felt throughout our Twins family, NC Soccer Fusion family, as well the communities around Winston Salem and Greensboro. Our thoughts and prayers are with Valerie and Charlie, Nathan's parents, as they grieve over this unexplainable loss. Our club will be offering support for his teammates, our players and our families through this time, as well as for the Clark family.
We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the Clark family during this terrible time, and please keep them in your thoughts and prayers."
The suspect has previously been convicted on charges including hit-and-run, simple assault, assault on a female and breaking and entering.
Clark was an eighth grade student at Calvary Baptist Day School in Winston-Salem.
"Nathan was a terrific and gifted young man who had a great love for people, and he will be greatly missed," said Richard Hardee, the head of the school.