DENTON — A Denton Guyer High School senior and starting player on the school's football team was killed in a shooting incident Saturday night.
The Wildcats' head coach John Walsh confirmed to News 8 that Nathan Maki, 18, was with other young people when he was shot along Miller Road in a rural area of Montague County about three miles south of Bowie.
Maki's girlfriend, senior Peyton Bucklew, told News 8 she's still in disbelief. They would have been together for two years next month.
"Yeah, I feel like I'm in a dream," she said. "I just want to wake up, and he be coming home."
Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham said he did not yet know who made the 911 call to alert law enforcement.
Maki was taken to Bowie Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Cunningham said a minor was arrested at the scene for possession of alcohol, and a rifle was recovered at the scene.
The sheriff said the Texas Rangers are also involved in the investigation, and that the case would be referred to the Montague County District Attorney's office.
Maki, a fullback, was injured and sat out Denton Guyer's opening game on Thursday night against Cedar Hill.
"The position I'm in, a leadership position, we have to lead through this, but we feel empty, too," Coach Walsh said. "My knees buckled when I heard the news, and I've been devastated all day."
"Our team, school, community, and most of all the family of Nate Maki, have suffered a great loss," said a statement posted on the Guyer Wildcat-Football Facebook page. "The football booster club will establish an account at Northstar Bank to support the family in navigating this tragedy financially. Details on how to make a donation will be posted on Tuesday."
It's a devastating time for the people who loved Nathan Maki the most and who weren't there when he died. They need to know who took him away.
"Those kids, or whoever was there, they have families too, and I get that, but...you just can't do that..." Buckley said through tears.
Classmates were reacting on social media with disbelief.
"You were one of my close friends. We hung out everyday freshman year," wrote teammate Jonathan Pershall on Instagram. "You made this team better, and our lives better. I love you man. You're in a better place. Rest in peace.
Another Wildcats player, Brandon Daniel, added this on Twitter: "Nate told me to prove I earned my silver helmet. I am going to for you. I will do it."
One student tweeted that there would be prayers for Maki Monday at noon at the high school.
"We definitely had our ups and downs because we are two different people, but nothing really tore us apart because he was such a great guy," Bucklew said.