Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell says a child was killed over the weekend in what is now, at this time, being called an accidental shooting.
“This is a horrific, tragic situation in which this child found a weapon and while handling it, the weapon discharged,” the sheriff said. “We mourn the loss of an innocent victim whose life we can only say was far, far too short.”
Ravenell said investigators were called to a Bowman area residence just before 3 p.m. Sunday where they first observed the “father holding his son, the victim’s motionless body,” according to the report.
Deputies reported running immediately to the father’s aid where they noticed a handgun nearby. The weapon was secured.
The eight-year-old child’s father said he and a relative were in a vehicle awaiting another relative for a trip to a store.
The child was seated in the back when the two men in the front seats said they heard a gunshot. The men immediately attempted to render aid after realizing what happened.
A pistol had been kept in the vehicle, the father said.
Ravenell said there is an investigation ongoing to determine if this the incident was indeed an accident and also if charges are warranted.
“In my more than three decades of service, these have to be the saddest cases by far. All cases are tragic but very little compares with the loss of a child,” he said. “Now is not the time to point fingers. Now is a time to uplift a family stricken with grief at this sudden and so tragic loss.”
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