A 15-year-old boy was killed when he was struck in the head while playing a game of "dodging arrows" at a friend's house, and criminal charges could be possible, authorities said Monday.
Caleb Fairchild, an eighth-grader, was playing the bow-and-arrow game Saturday evening when he was hit by an arrow in in Chapmanville, about 45 miles south of Charleston, West Virginia State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous said.
No parents were around when Caleb and two other kids were playing in a front yard, said State Police Sgt. C.R. Sutphin. The ages of the others involved weren't released but authorities said they were minors.
The motivation behind the game wasn't immediately clear.
"I've been a policeman for almost 25 years. This is the first time I've ever heard of it," Sutphin said. "They were just goofing around, thought it was a good idea. It's just a bad decision, if you ask me."
Sixth-grader Carlee Adkins said she started dating Caleb on St. Patrick's Day. The last text message she received from him on Saturday evening was, "Bye babe, I love you."
She said Caleb was at a friend's house when it happened and that the bow-and-arrow game wasn't his idea because "he never liked doing that stuff. That was somebody else's suggestion." She said she had never heard of anyone playing the game before.
Caleb was taken to Logan Regional Medical Center, and then to Charleston Area Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The Boone County prosecutor's office is being consulted in the investigation, Sutphin said.
"Once we get everything together, we're going to present it to them for a possible negligent homicide charge," Sutphin said.
Grief counselors were on hand at Chapmanville Middle School, where the teen attended classes.
Carlee said she was too distraught to go to school Monday. She described Caleb as shy, artistic and a fan of any type of music - except country. He also helped Carlee with her skateboarding.
"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."