Outraged Family of Man Shot Dead by Dog in Freak Hunting Accident Condemns Online Ridicule of Tragedy

Joseph Smith, 30, and a friend were heading out to hunt in a pickup truck when a dog in the backseat with the rifle stepped on the trigger, causing the gun to fire into Smith's back, according to the Sumner County Sheriff's Office.

The family of a Kansas man who was fatally shot by a dog in a freak hunting accident is furious that their personal tragedy has been the subject of online ridicule.

Joseph Smith, 30, and a friend were heading out to hunt in a pickup truck when a dog in the backseat with the rifle stepped on the trigger, causing the gun to fire into Smith's back, according to the Sumner County Sheriff's Office.

"A canine belonging to the owner of the pickup stepped on the rifle, causing the weapon to discharge," deputies said in a statement. "The fire round struck the passenger, who died of his injuries on scene."

Chris Brown, who is Smith's boss, tells Inside Edition that he is still in shock.

"I don't fully understand how we could lose Joe in such a bizarre way," says Brown.

He also has a message for those who have used social media to make light of the situation.

"Shame on you," says Brown.

Smith's family is also condemning those who find humor in this tragedy.

Brown has created a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for Smith's family so that they can cover funeral costs and grieve without the added burden of financial stress.

"Joe is absolutely the most unique individual I have had the pleasure of meeting. He was loved by all of us from all walks of life and loved the same," writes Brown.

"He made us laugh every morning whether it was at him or because of him he always made sure to be a positive light at my company. No matter how bad or stressful my or our day was, Joe always had something to lift our spirits.

"We will forever feel so blessed to have him in our lives for just a short time," he continues. "We will never forget you, Joe."

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