Crime

Police charge Knightdale man in Lewisville teen’s death at Raleigh hotel

A 13-year-old boy from Lewisville died while lying in a Raleigh hotel bed Friday night after he was struck by a bullet fired from a weapon in another room, according to police and a recording of a 911 call.

Raleigh police charged Randall Louis Vater, 42, of Knightdale with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with the death of Nathan Andrew Clark, who was in town to play soccer.

The people staying in the two hotel rooms did not know each other, police said.

Vater was being held at the Wake County Detention Center, police said.

Police were called about 11 p.m. Friday to the Comfort Suites hotel, where Clark was pronounced dead at the scene. Police declined Saturday to disclose further details.

The person who called 911 said she was in the room with Clark when he suffered the injury, according to a 911 tape released by police.

“I don’t know if he hit his head or something,” the caller said. “We have no idea” what happened.

The caller told the 911 dispatcher that Clark had a bump on the back of his head and was losing a lot of blood.

After several minutes, the caller said relatives tried to resuscitate Clark, but the boy was unresponsive.

The caller hung up when paramedics arrived.

The general manager of the Comfort Suites issued a statement late Saturday offering condolences. Harshad Patel said “our thoughts and prayers go out to the Clark Family” but declined to comment further on the shooting because of the ongoing investigation.

Over the past five years, Vater has served time in prison on charges including violating a protective order, hit-and-run, eluding arrest and communicating threats, according to state Department of Public Safety records. His most recent release was Oct. 25, according to the agency’s website.

Clark played for the NC Soccer Fusion in the Twin City Youth Soccer Association, said Scott Wollaston, the association’s director.

Wollaston said in a news release that Clark was “a fantastic kid, a great teammate, had a wonderful personality, was extremely respectful, and was always fun to be around.”

He was also an excellent soccer player and a competitive kid who “always left everything he had on the field,” the statement reads.

“This loss is felt throughout our Twins family, NC Soccer Fusion family, as well as the communities around Winston-Salem and Greensboro,” it reads. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Valerie and Charlie, Nathan’s parents, as they grieve over this unexplainable loss.”

Clark was in town to participate in a tournament hosted by the Capital Area Soccer League, CASL said in a statement.

CASL described Clark’s death as an “unsettling” tragedy.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Nathan’s family and to his extended soccer family: the North Carolina Fusion players, parents, and coaches,” it reads.

The statement said CASL officials planned to decline any requests for comment.

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