The bullet went through the wall and struck Nathan, who was in bed asleep, in the head. According to a 911 call, Nathan was "not responding to anything and he's bleeding from the back of his head." The caller went on to say, "We were sitting here and I heard a noise and got up to check on him and there is blood everywhere. I heard a gurgling noise. We have no idea what happened. We all went to bed."
Nathan was pronounced dead at the scene.
42-year-old Vater was arrested for involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Vater is a habitual felon with 28 prior convictions, prosecutors said. Reports did not indicate where Vater got the gun. Had he tried to buy a gun from a licensed dealer, a background check would have turned up his record and denied his purchase. However, North Carolina allows for the private sale of guns without a background check.
Nathan's soccer team released a statement that read, in part, "Nathan was fun-loving, energetic and brought a joy and a special spark to the Calvary boys soccer team. Nathan will be greatly missed by the whole Calvary soccer family."
This is not the first time this blog has posted a story about someone being unintentionally shot by a stranger in the hotel room next door. Here a few others:
Woman shot and killed in motel when guest in another room unintentionally discharges gun
Trial date set for man who shot gun in motel room, killing man in room next door
Man showing off gun in hotel room unintentionally shoots gun wounds man in room next door