Vigil held for 13-year-old who suffered serious injury

Published: May. 17, 2017 at 10:26 PM EDT
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GREENUP COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- What a family is calling a horrible accident sent a 13-year-old boy to the hospital in critical condition.

Friends and family gathered in the bleachers at Greenup County High School Wednesday evening to pray for Dakota Miller.

"It's been a lot of tears every day and crying myself to sleep," friend Haley Chapman said.

"This is about a young man fighting every second for his life," football coach Scott Grizzle said.

Kentucky State Police say it appears the boy was at his grandfather's house last Thursday, showing his friend a gun that he didn't know was loaded when he accidentally shot himself in the head.

The boy was rushed to a hospital in Huntington in critical condition and remains in the ICU, according to family members.

Jack Hixson, Miller's great uncle, says the vigil was the first time since the accident that some family members have left the hospital.

"Everyone loves him," Hixson said. "He'd come up and give you a big hug. It breaks our heart for this to happen."

Hixson says as bad as it looked for the McKell Middle School student following the incident, it's a miracle he's still holding on.

"It's a surprise that he's made it," he said. "The good Lord above, everyone praying, we just thank God that we still have him."

On Wednesday, they prayed for Dakota to make a full recovery.

The crowd also collected money following the vigil for the family.

The football coach says they'll have a special tribute for Dakota at their first game of the season.