Chapel Hill High School senior killed in shooting

Smith County Shooting

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - An early morning shooting left a Chapel Hill High School senior dead. Police responded to shots fired this morning on the 4800 block of Holiday Hills road.

Jason Wheat says he was hanging out in his friend Zane Collier's white Tahoe outside the house where Collier lived. He says two other people were with them. Around 3:00 a.m., Wheat says he started to get tired and began to leave.

“When I was getting into my vehicle, I heard gunshots and I panicked, so I drove off,” Wheat said.

Wheat says he didn’t know what had just happened. He continued to drive away and less than 10 minutes later was pulled over and questioned by authorities.

“I told them the truth, I told them everything that happened,” Wheat said.

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office says a male was found dead. He was later identified by Chapel Hill ISD as 17-year old Zane Collier.

Collier was found in the driveway of a house, with at least two gunshot wounds. He later died at the hospital.

Wheat says one of the other people there this morning was showing off an AR-15 rifle. Wheat says he believes that gun accidentally went off somehow, killing Collier.

“It sounded like the AR. My gut feeling says it’s probably accidental,” Wheat said.

The cause of the shooting is still unclear, but Wheat maintains it wasn’t him behind the gun.

“I was not the person that shot Zane Collier,” Wheat said.

Wheat says he learned Collier was dead as he was in a law enforcement vehicle.

“I started bawling. I started crying in the back seat,” Wheat said.

Wheat is mourning the loss of his friend Zane, as the investigation into his death continues.

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