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Fridley Football Player's Death Declared Accidental

Emmanuel Bartuoh, 18, died of a gunshot wound at his Fridley home Friday, the Pioneer Press reported.

Bartuoh, a defensive back for the Fridley High football team, had been watching the state high school football tournament on television when Samuel Keleih Dennis, a 20-year-old graduate of Fridley High, pointed a semi-automatic gun at him, and pulled the trigger, authorities said. Bartuoh struck once in the chest and died shortly after the incident.

A Star Tribune story offers a more detailed look at the crime. Dennis called 911 and when police arrived at the Rice Creek Townhomes in Fridley, they found Dennis, sobbing and blood-soaked. Dennis turned himself in and confessed to investigators.

Dennis was unaware that the gun was loaded at the time. He was booked into the Anoka County Jail on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter, authorities said.

Bartuoh had been in scholarship talks with a Midwestern college earlier in the day.

"Wherever I need to go to play and get an education, I'm going to go," Bartuoh had told his coach, Lambert Brown.

Family members, students and faculty gathered at the high school for a candlelight vigil Saturday to grieve for Bartuoh, known as "E-man" to those close to him.

"It doesn't make sense. Oh, God, could this really be happening?" his older sister, Marthaline Bartuoh, said. "I can't say it was his time to go, because it's not. It was not his time to go."