Zachary Chambless

Photo of a teenage boy with auburn hair and fair skin, wearing a gray T-shirt. He is in profile, gazing across the water of a pond. His expression is neutral, with his mouth slightly open.Name: Zachary Chambless.
Died: July 3, 2018.
Age at death: 17.
Cause of death: Accidental/Negligence (Gunshot).
Location: Roswell, Georgia, USA.

Details:
Zach loved anything that flew, from birds and bugs to flags and balloons. His mother even kept helium tanks at her house so she could blow up balloons for Zach whenever he asked. He always carried an American flag with him. His father would take him to a pet store so that he could see the birds.

Zach and five other disabled young people were out with a respite caregiver, riding in the man’s van. They planned to go on a camping trip.

Zach’s caregiver owned a gun, which he left under a seat with his disabled charges unattended in the van while he went into an ATV dealership. A 21-year-old man picked up the gun and shot Zach with it–an accidental shooting, since the shooter had an intellectual disability too and didn’t fully understand how dangerous firearms are. A 63-year-old man in the parking lot was grazed by a second bullet, a minor injury which he was treated for at the hospital and released. However, Zach’s injuries were immediately fatal.

The caregiver was charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. His program was found to be unlicensed and was shut down.

At his memorial service, mourners released 250 balloons.

References:
Chaperone charged in shooting death of special needs teen
Dunwoody teen, killed in shooting, remembered for love of simple things
Caretaker faces charges after special needs man accidentally shoots, kills another
Carer charged after one of his disabled clients shoots the other dead
UPDATE: Caretaker of special needs shooter out of jail on bond
Roswell PD: special needs teen died from accidental shooting, camp counselor charged
Celebrating Zachary Chambless – Tuesday July 31st.

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