The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is investigating a fatal hunting accident in Columbiana County.

An ODNR spokesman tells 21 News that a juvenile had been fatally shot with a crossbow Sunday Morning while hunting with family members at the Highlandtown Wildlife Area.

The Columbiana County Coroner said the victim is 12-year-old Ethan Barker of Wellsville. A ruling on the death is not expected until later this month.

Barker was a student at Beaver Local Schools and had previously attended Southern Local Schools. Family friends remember Barker from his love for fixing bikes with his uncle and playing football. 

“He liked to hunt and he was a good kid,” Robert Adams, a family friend of the Barkers, said. 

In just a few days, community members have raised nearly $700 to help Ethan’s mother with funeral costs. 

“She just lost her husband in June so this is like bam bam, you know, so this is why we're here,” Adams said. 

“If you just lost a son you don’t need to be worried about how you're going to feed the other kids or how your going to take care of funeral expenses or things like that,” Dallas Cole, of Alcatraz Body Modifications, who is raising money in a raffle for the family said.  

With 15 businesses including Alcatraz Body Modifications offering donations, some say it just goes to show how they come together for each other in their small town. 

“When there's a kid involved, our community is amazing with helping out. It's absolutely mind blowing,” Ashley Buzzard, a family friend said. 

The main community fundraiser will be on Oct. 14 at Dave and Deb's in East Liverpool. There will be a poker run, 50/50, food, a Chinese auction and more - all benefitting the barker family. 


Anyone interested in donating to the Barker family can contact Ashley Buzzard at 330-708-3807.

ODNR is still investigating the accident. 

The Highlandtown Wildlife Area is a 2,269-acre state wildlife area located north of Highlandtown.