06/03/2013 02:14 EDT | Updated 08/03/2013 05:12 EDT

Manitoba teen mistaken for bear shot dead by friend

A 17-year-old boy was shot and killed in Manitoba by his friend, who thought the youth was a bear outside his tent.

“This is tragic. This is, you know — words can hardly describe,” said RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish. “I can’t imagine what the families are feeling right now. I can’t even fathom.”

The incident happened just before 4 a.m. Sunday at Namay Falls, about 20 kilometres from the community of Bloodvein on the Bloodvein River, according to RCMP.

The name of the victim, who is from the Steinbach area, is not being released to the public, RCMP said.

Four males were on a camping trip when a 22-year-old man awakened to what he believed was a bear close to the tent, RCMP said.

He grabbed his gun and shot in the direction of the noise.

Due to the remote location, RCMP had to charter a helicopter to get to the scene.

“These four individuals were out to enjoy themselves in what was supposed to be a great outing,” said Karpish. “It turned into a bit of a nightmare — a lot of a nightmare, in fact.”

The investigation is ongoing.