Deer with antlers
The incident was described as a tragic hunting accident. Luke MacGregor/Reuters

A teenager tragically died when her friend handed her a loaded gun on a youth hunting trip in Alabama.

Alyssa Scott was found suffering a gunshot wound by Sheriff's deputies who attended the scene in Adger, Alabama after receiving reports of a shooting at about 5pm on Monday (13 November). She had been participating in a youth hunt at the time of the incident. The teenager was taken to hospital where she was sadly pronounced dead at 6.31pm.

According to local sources, Chief Deputy Randy Christian of the ‎Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said Alyssa had been with an adult family friend at a youth hunt when the girl climbed out of a tree stand to leave. As the friend handed her rifle down, it discharged and fatally wounded the teenager.

Investigators are treating the incident as a tragic accident. According to Alabama news site, Christian said: "We will take a thorough look at everything because that's our responsibility but sometimes tragedy and heartbreak comes unexpected, purely by accident, without blame or explanation. Now is the time to pray for and comfort a devastated family. Our hearts and prayers are with them."

The Jefferson County Coroner's Office confirmed Alyssa's identity on Tuesday (14 November). Paying tribute to the pupil and school marching band member, Oak Grove High School Principal Pam Dennis said: "Whatever she did, she did with her whole heart. She always did her absolute best with everything she did."

Guidance counselors and clergy members reportedly attended the school the day after the accident to support grieving students.