Jacob M. "Jake" Michuda
A pleasant day of fishing by a father and son on a quiet lake in northern Wells County last Friday turned tragic when an apparently stray bullet fatally injured the boy, just one month shy of his fifth birthday.
The incident left Jacob M. "Jake" Michuda of Bluffton with a gunshot wound in the head that led to his death early Saturday morning at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. He was shot around 11 a.m. while he and his father, Matt Michuda, were fishing from a pier.
The Wells County Emergency Medical Service was called to the scene at 11:07 a.m. and the boy was taken from the scene to Lutheran Hospital.
Officials of the Wells County Sheriff's Department announced on Saturday that Bruce Pond, 47, who lives near where the tragedy happened, was arrested and charged with reckless homicide. He will be arraigned in court at Bluffton today.
A friend of the boy's mother told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, "It was just a freak accident." She also described Jake as "always smiling, an angel, a perfect little boy. He was so tender-hearted and loving."
This morning, the Journal Gazette reported that Wells County Sheriff Monte Fisher told the Bluffton newspaper that Pond had been drinking alcohol and is believed to have been shooting at a light on the pier. No other details were released.
Jake Michuda's funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Lancaster Elementary School in Wells County.
Visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the school.
Goodwin Memorial Chapel at Bluffton handled the arrangements.