Vigil held for Exeter teen killed by a hunter in the Sequoia National Forest

EXETER, Calif (KFSN) -- A community in mourning, as a teen killed in a hunting accident is remembered. Investigators said a 16-year-old was accidentally shot by a hunter in the Sequoia National Forest on Sunday.

Classmates, friends and family members of Luke Burns, held each other close reflecting on the fallen teen's life.

"He was my best friend. And it really sucks. No one should have to go through this," said Luke's twin brother Levi Burns.

Those closest to the teenager gathered at Exeter High School Agricultural Farm on Tuesday. It's where Luke spent years raising animals and learning skills he planned to use for his future.

"Basically the people at the ag farm were his people," said Luke's best friend Colby Leonard.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office said Luke was hunting with family and friends early Sunday morning. He was walking in front his group, standing behind brush, when investigators said one of the hunters fired a shot and struck him.

"Just know that it was an accident and we're all trying to get through that," said Luke's sister Dakota Burns.

Family members said Luke took his last breath while cradled in his father's arms.

"He went from his earthly father's arms, to his heavenly father's arms and that's where he's at," said a speaker at his vigil.

The loss isn't easy for anyone here in the tight knit community of Exeter. But his twin brother Levi is having the hardest time.

"That's who needs the help right now. He needs people to reach out to him," said Dakota Burns.

Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.