In 2017, prayer requests began circulating for Dakota Miller on social media, who accidentally shot himself in the head while showing a friend his grandfather’s gun.
Dakota Miller’s prayer request created confusion because it is similar to a widely circulated, unrelated (and unverified) prayer request for a boy named Dakota, who was reportedly transported to a hospital via helicopter after having repeated seizures. (Click here for our investigation into the different versions of the earlier prayer requests for the other Dakota.)
We can confirm that prayer requests for Dakota Miller of Greenup, Kentucky are authentic. The community held a vigil and called for prayers on May 17, 2017, shortly after Miller was critically injured, local station WSAZ reported:
What a family is calling a horrible accident sent a 13-year-old boy to the hospital in critical condition.
Friends and family gathered in the bleachers at Greenup County High School Wednesday evening to pray for Dakota Miller.
“It’s been a lot of tears every day and crying myself to sleep,” friend Haley Chapman said.
“This is about a young man fighting every second for his life,” football coach Scott Grizzle said.
Kentucky State Police say it appears the boy was at his grandfather’s house last Thursday, showing his friend a gun that he didn’t know was loaded when he accidentally shot himself in the head.
Dakota Miller was rushed to a hospital in nearby Huntington, where he remained in critical condition. On May 18th, a family member of Miller’s posted on Facebook: “Dakota did well through the night. His blood pressure stayed down. So no complications is good. Thank everyone for the prayers. Please keep them going.”
By June 19th, Dakota Miller’s condition had improved, and he had stabilized to the point that his family was preparing to bring him home. The same family member posted on Facebook: “Dakota has done good through the night and today. Still working on getting what we need as far as training and equipment to come home. Everyone please keep praying. Thanks to everyone.”
In August 2017, WSAZ reported that his high school football team paid tribute to Miller, whose recovery is continuing.