Top stories: ESHS student killed in accidental shooting

Thursday, January 6, 2022
Nathan Howton

The Eureka Springs School District went into mourning after a student died in an accidental shooting in September.

Nathan Howton, 16, was killed in the shooting on Sept. 19. Howton was a junior at Eureka Springs High School.

Superintendent Bryan Pruitt said Howton was part of the Connect 4 program, so he spent half of each school day at Eureka Springs High School and the other half at the Connect 4 building in Berryville. High school principal David Gilmore said Howton was interested in welding, determined to make a name for himself in the field and wasn’t afraid of hard work.

“He was an extremely hard worker,” Gilmore said. “He and several kids were doing a lot of yard work, clearing lots and that kind of thing. He was ready to work at all times.”

Junior Kaylie Partee said Howton was always laughing or trying to make someone laugh.

“And there was never a time he couldn’t make you laugh,” Partee said. “Any time you were around him, you would be bursting out laughing in two minutes. He was by far the funniest person I’ve ever known, and any time you had a bad day, you could talk to him and he’d be there for you.”

Gilmore said Howton would talk to anyone.

“He was such a lovable kid,” Gilmore said. “Even if you were mad at him, you couldn’t be mad for long. You had to love him. He was one of those kids.”

Gilmore said Howton would want everyone to keep laughing and always remember the good times.

“And there are a lot of good times with him,” Gilmore said. “He loved trucks. He recently rode a horse at the rodeo. He got bucked off. I think he stayed on a little over three seconds, but he was actually the winner that night.”

To honor Howton, the students are hosting a truck show at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Berryville Community Center. All proceeds will go toward funeral expenses. You can also donate to help Howton’s family by making a deposit in his name at Equity Bank.

In the meantime, Howton’s loved ones will honor him by living a life he’d be proud of.

“Just remember to laugh,” Partee said. “That’s all he ever wanted to do was make people laugh.”

A truck show in Howton’s honor later raised $5,500 for his family.

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