Teacher's shooting death ruled accidental

Douglas VanNeste
Douglas VanNeste

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MUNFORD, TN (WMC-TV) - The shooting death of a West Tennessee teacher has been ruled accidental.

Officials with the Tipton County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday the shooting death of Douglas VanNeste by his daughter earlier this month was an accident.

"A determination was to not file criminal charges. It was ruled accidental," said Deputy Chief Donna Turner of the Tipton County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators said VanNeste was asleep in the den of his home in a recliner when he was shot by his 15-year-old daughter.

His daughter, who has not been identified, told investigators she heard a noise outside of their home. Thinking someone was trying to break in, she loaded a 20 gauge shotgun from her room, and went to the den to wake up her father.

"As she tried to wake him up, the weapon actually began to fall out of her hand," Turner said. "As she went to grab that, her finger was on the trigger and it did go off."

VanNeste was struck in the head by the gunfire.

Investigators said the girl's story was consistent with evidence found at the scene of the shooting, and that the girl and other family members were cooperative with detectives.

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