Jason Kutt and his girlfriend were sitting on a bank at Lake Nockamixon on Saturday, taking in an early fall sunset, when a shot rang out.
Kutt fell, struck once in the back of his neck. And amid her panic and confusion, Kutt’s girlfriend looked up to see a man in an orange hunting vest a few hundred feet away from where they were sitting.
Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub is asking that hunter to come forward with information on a shooting death that he believes may have been a “terrible accident.”
“If you are in fact responsible, if you have an explanation or some version of events that you want to explain to us, please come forward,” Weintraub said Monday. “Jason Kutt and his family deserve that explanation.”
Kutt, 18, was shot about 5:16 p.m. at the Old Ridge Road entrance to Nockamixon State Park, located about an hour north of Philadelphia, investigators said. He was taken by medics to St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, where he died Monday morning.
He grew up in nearby Sellersville and had graduated in June from Pennridge High School, according to a Facebook post by his father, Ronald.
“He loved playing his guitars, video games, and taking walks in nature to take amazing pictures and spending time with his girlfriend,” Ronald Kutt wrote. “Please remember to hug your loved ones because tomorrow is never promised.”
In announcing Kutt’s death, Weintraub dispelled the notion that the teen had been targeted.
“This was a young kid with his whole life ahead of him,” Weintraub said. “He had no enemies and he had done nothing wrong.”
Saturday was the final day hunters could use certain firearms, specifically muzzle loaders, to hunt bear, deer and other game, according to investigators.
Permitted hunters are allowed hunt inside Nockamixon State Park, Weintraub said, as long as they obey the posted rules. Investigators believe that the gunman spotted by Kutt’s girlfriend was about 550 feet away, standing behind a gate and apparently aiming out toward the lake.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Bucks County Detectives at 215-348-6868 or 215-340-8140. Tips can also be submitted online at bucksda.org.