Either these boys were exceedingly dumb, or there is more to this story than was printed. Nowadays, the gun would be blamed, and more firearms restrictions called for.
As for the lightning, when I was stationed in Jacksonville, I lived in a house on Herschell Street. Right outside the kitchen window, over the sink, was a very large pine tree. One afternoon as I was washing dishes in a rainstorm, a regular summertime occurence, a bolt of lighning struck the tree and ran to ground on my side of the trunk. When I could see again, some minutes later, I found the bark stripped off from top to bottom, about eight inches wide! I stopped washing dishes in the rain, and when I got married, used that story to avoid dish duty altogether for several months, until the love of my life decided her safety was as important as mine...I finally had to buy her a dishwasher. LOL Stan