ELK GROVE, CA - A family mourns the death of a brother fatally shot during a freak accident at a backyard pig slaughter.
Koua Vang, 28, died Tuesday after spending the last several days on life support. Vang was accidentally shot in the face by his older brother Saturday afternoon.
The news of Vang's death was especially upsetting for his next door neighbor, Bridget Miller, who was home at the time of the accident. Miller said the brothers lived at the house with their wives and an uncle.
Two pigs were to be slaughtered for a family celebration on Saturday. According to Miller, the brothers were standing around a pig ready for slaughter. The older brother shot the pig, but the pig didn't die. Instead the pig lurched and kicked the rifle and it discharged again. Vang was accidentally shot in the face, through the jaw, at close range.
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"He's one of those neighbors you'd want to have," Miller said. "I'm twice as old as he is, but I'd look to him like my big brother. If I had any problems, I could always call him and he was always willing to help."
Miller lived next door to the family for three years and said the brothers were always very careful with their firearms. She recalled how the brothers refused to shoot at coyotes coming onto their properties.
"We were always scheming together for ways to keep the coyotes away from our goats," Miller said. "They didn't want to shoot at this coyote and have a wild bullet go through someone's house and kill them while they're sleeping. And that's why this is such a tragic thing that this happened. They were pointing down. They weren't pointing away at a coyote. They were pointing down."
The family was not home Tuesday afternoon. Miller said Vang leaves behind a wife and a large extended family.
"Koua had four brothers and four sisters and they were always over there," Miller said. "They're just a close family. Everybody needs to pray for the family they're good people."