Steve October 27, 2020
pennsylvania-teen-fatally-shot-while-sitting-with-girlfriend-by-lake

A Pennsylvania teen was fatally shot while he and his girlfriend watched a sunset by a lake in a state park where hunting is permitted.

An investigation is underway to determine if the shooting was related to a man seen in hunting gear, the district attorney said Monday. The hunter was reported to have walked away, according to the DA.

Jason Kutt, a 2020 high school graduate, was shot about 5:15 p.m. Saturday by a lake at Nockamixon State Park and pronounced dead Monday, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said.

His girlfriend heard a shot before he fell backward, and she reported seeing a man in an orange vest and hunting-type clothes by a gate around 550 feet away looking in their direction, Weintraub said, but it is not clear he was involved.

“We want to get to the bottom of this,” Weintraub said at a news conference Monday in which he pleaded with the public for any information.

“We don’t have any suspects,” he said. “We don’t even know if a crime has been committed yet. But we need to understand how Jason Kutt died.”

Hunting is allowed in the park and was permitted the day Kutt was shot, Weintraub said.

The teen suffered a single gunshot wound to the back of his neck, he said, and an autopsy is planned.

Kutt’s family decided to donate the teen’s organs, something the district attorney hailed as a courageous decision.

It is deer season in Pennsylvania, as well as for small game, Weintraub said. Saturday was the final day for muzzeloader hunting of deer, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The state department of conservation and natural resources warns hunters to use extreme caution at all times, because other people use state parks during hunting season.

Weintraub stressed that the shooting may have been an accident, and investigators are not pre-judging anything in the case and are hopeful that the public provides information.

“They were just a young couple with their whole lives ahead of them trying to enjoy a peaceful sunset,” Weintraub said.

Image: Phil helselPhil Helsel

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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