Wake Forest, NC -- A 12-year-old Tarboro boy was accidentally shot and killed while hunting with his family in Wake Forest on Friday morning, according to the Wake County Sheriff's Office.
James Lee Parker was hunting deer with his father, uncle and stepbrother - ages 37, 31 and 16 - when he was accidentally shot just before 8 a.m., according to the boy's grandfather, Jimmy Parker III.
James, who had hunted since he was 4 years old, was about 100 yards in the woods near 1617 Bent Road when the shooting occurred. Sheriff's officials did not say who shot him or how it happened.
Authorities released a redacted recording of the 911 call made shortly after the shooting. The sobbing caller tells the call-taker, "My son is dead in a hunting accident. We were hunting. My son has been shot in a hunting accident."
The caller tells 911 that the boy is not breathing and limp, then begins to weep.
James was a sixth-grader at Phillips Middle School in Edgecombe County, according to his family.
"He loved to hunt. He just went hunting yesterday, actually. He said it was so fun," said Michaela Roberts, James' cousin. "His favorite food was pizza rolls. Last night, we were just hanging out eating pizza rolls from my house and we were watching TV. It was the funnest time ever, greatest memory. Can't get it back now."
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison called the shooting "a tragedy."
"I mean, just imagine, Christmas just over with, a 12-year-old is out, just like my grandson was excited about going hunting with me," he said. "I can't even imagine the thoughts that would be going through my mind if my grandson had gotten shot."
The sheriff's office said North Carolina wildlife officers were taking over the investigation Friday afternoon.