Local/State

Vigil held for teen who accidentally shot himself

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Members of a Person County community came together Wednesday to grieve the death of a teenager.

Seventeen-year-old Matthew Morton accidentally shot himself Sunday with a handgun at his Timberlake home. He shot himself once in the chest and couldn't be saved.

Friends, classmates and family held a vigil outside that home Wednesday evening.

"Oh man, I wish I could bring him back right here," said Matthew's brother, Max Morton.

"It's so hard to let him go," said Matthew's mother, Jonna Morton. "He's no longer here. I know he's with me in my heart."

"I thought it was a sick joke," said friend Kayla Taylor. "He loved his life. He would tell you that in a heartbeat."

While Matthew's death has been ruled accidental, his father is telling anyone who will listen that there's a lesson to be learned in gun safety.

"Secure your weapons," said Hugh Morton. "[It's] just that simple. Secure your weapons."

Three days since the shooting, neighbors and local businesses are pitching in to help cover Matthew's funeral costs. The funeral is set for Friday morning in Rougemont.

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person county, shooting, local/state, joel brown
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