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Northern Arizona football player Michael DeGroote dies at 22 while vacationing

DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, Alaska – Northern Arizona football player Michael DeGroote died after apparently shooting himself with a gun while vacationing with his family in Alaska.

The 22-year-old DeGroote died Tuesday at a campground at Denali National Park and Preserve. Park spokeswoman Kathleen Kelly says an investigation is under way to try to determine if the shooting was accidental or deliberate, but adds the answer may never be known.

Kelly says the family is adamant that the shooting was accidental. Park officials say DeGroote was visiting the park with his father, but the father was not present when the shooting occurred.

“The entire NAU Athletics Family is deeply saddened by the loss of Michael,” NAU coach Jerome Souers said in a statement. “He was a well-respected young man that I was proud to have as a part of our program. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”


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