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Halstad teen accidentally shot at party making good progress

The parents of a 16-year-old Halstad, Minn., boy who was accidentally shot in the stomach Thursday at a party near Grandin, N.D., say he's making "very good progress" but his recovery "is far from over."

Dave and Lori Rufsvold issued a written statement through Sanford Health in Fargo, where their son Payton was listed in guarded condition.

Payton's physical condition prior to the accident will contribute to his recovery, his parents wrote in the statement, which was dated Saturday.

He was supposed to be playing quarterback this season for the Norman County West Panthers, they stated, adding that because of low numbers, the team had to postpone its first regular season game, which was slated for the night of the shooting.

"Payton has such a great spirit and is a very strong- willed individual," his parents stated. "We know that this is far from over and that each day he will be faced with another hurdle."

The family thanked family and friends for their support, as well as Hillsboro Medical Center, the LifeFlight crew and Sanford medical staff.

"Our hearts go out to the other families involved in this sad, avoidable incident," they stated.

Payton took "a couple of steps" on Sunday and continued to show good vital signs, according to the Caring­Bridge journal maintained by his parents.

"Payton wanted everyone to know he is doing alright and he (said) if he could type he wanted to say 'Thanks,' " the journal stated.

Traill County Sheriff Mike Crocker has said the alleged shooter, a 16-year-old boy from Grandin, apparently thought the shotgun wasn't loaded when he pulled the trigger.

The shotgun round passed through a soda bottle Payton was holding, injuring two of his fingers and hitting him in the stomach. His doctor said it's very likely the bottle took the brunt of the force of the shotgun round, the journal stated.

The alleged shooter was taken to juvenile detention in Fargo and is expected to face charges of felony reckless endangerment and minor in consumption.