Man pleads guilty to shooting that killed boy through Raleigh hotel wall

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Randall Vater in court Monday (WTVD)

The man charged in the fatal 2014 shooting of a 13-year-old soccer player at a Raleigh hotel plead guilty in court on Monday.

Randall Louis Vater of Knightdale admitted to discharging a gun at the Comfort Suites hotel at 1309 Corporation Parkway on the night of Nov. 14, 2014.

The 43-year-old was staying at the New Bern Avenue hotel with a girlfriend when - according to the prosecutor - Vater was playing with her handgun when the gun went off it pierced the wall.

A bullet went through a wall and into another room, hitting Nathan Andrew Clark, of Lewisville - west of Winston-Salem.

Fifth grade photo of Nathan Clark from the 2012 Lewisville Elementary School yearbook.



Clark was in Raleigh to play in the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) shootout that weekend.

The 13-year-old's parents didn't hear the gunshot but did hear a gurgling sound. They awoke to find their child covered in blood. They said they were confused and had no idea he had been shot in the head.

"I went over to see my son bleeding terribly," said Charlie Clark, the victim's father. "I could not understand how this had happened in a locked room with no other items around Nathan to hit his head on."



In court, the boy's father described how bad he and his wife missed their only child.

"I will forever miss all the adventures and pure joy of riding down the snow covered mountains together with him," his father said. "Nathan will forever be missed. He had much to offer us, our country, and our world."



"I am a broken, lonely and confused anxious woman," said Valerie, the victim's mother. "And God has never once left my side."

Vater was charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Under the plea deal for involuntary manslaughter, Vater was sentenced to between 11 1/2 and nearly 15 years in prison.

He showed no emotion as the parents spoke and much of the rest of the courtroom was in tears.

The prosecutor said it always been about Vater, and he has never shown remorse.

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