Ottawa County 14-year-old shot in head with pellet gun


GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – An Ottawa County teen is in critical condition after he was shot in the head with a pellet gun by another teen, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

Tuesday, his mother confirmed the victim’s name is Nathan Micklatcher.

The shooting happened Sunday just before 8:30 p.m. in the 7500 block of Shadbleau Drive in the Jenison area, a sheriff’s office release said.

The 14-year-old victim said he was at home with his friend when his friend shot him with the pellet gun. The pellet hit Nathan in the head and lodged in his brain, according to the sheriff’s office.

Nathan was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he underwent surgery. Tuesday, he remained heavily sedated, his mother said.

Nathan Micklatcher
A photo of Nathan Micklatcher courtesy the GoFundMe account that has been set up for him.

Capt. Mark Bennett with the sheriff’s office said this is an unusual case, as most pellet guns incidents don’t involve such serious injury.

Investigators have spoken to the shooter, who turned 14 on Monday, and he is cooperating. Authorities say it doesn’t seem like he was trying to hurt his friend. As of Monday afternoon, he was not in custody and was not being called a suspect.

“The elements there exist that there … certainly appears to be a careless and/or reckless-type discharge — and accidental in such a way that it wasn’t intended on hurting the victim but nonetheless did,” Bennett said.

“We were able to talk very briefly with the victim prior to him being transported to the hospital,” he added. “I can’t get into exactly what was said by the victim, but that’s what leads us to believe there wasn’t anything predisposed as far as an argument, fight, or anything of that nature.”

Bennett said it’s not yet clear what the boys were doing with the pellet gun, which belongs to Nathan. It’s also unclear if the friend who pulled the trigger knew it was loaded. The shot that hit Nathan was fired from only a few feet away.

Nathan’s parents were home when the incident happened, but were inside at the time while the boys were outside.

The sheriff’s office will turn over the findings of its investigation to the prosecutor’s office to determine if any charges will filed.

Anyone with information should contact the sheriff’s office at 616.738.4000 at or Silent Observer by calling 1.877.88.SILENT, texting OCMTIP to 274637 or by visiting mostips.com.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for Nathan’s medical costs.

–24 Hour News 8’s Sarah Hurwitz contributed to this report.