LANCASTER, S.C. - The parent of a 10-year-old boy who shot and killed his friend earlier this month inside a mobile home in Lancaster County has been charged, deputies said.
The parent, who has not been officially identified, has been charged with unlawful neglect of a child and was served last week.
The deadly shooting happened at 3:58 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 at a mobile home located on Coastal Way off Memorial Park Road in Lancaster.
According to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, following an 11-day extensive investigation, they determined the 10-year-old victim was shot and killed inside the mobile home by his friend, who is another 10-year-old boy.
Deputies said a loaded 9 mm pistol was found in the home after the deadly shooting, along with additional evidence that indicated the victim was shot inside the mobile home. Based on evidence gathered, the sheriff's office said the two boys were friends, and the victim was visiting in the child’s Coastal Way home after school when the incident occurred. The two boys were the only people in the mobile home when the shooting happened.
The sheriff's office said a household member kept the 9 mm pistol under a mattress in a bedroom.
"The child was aware of the presence of the pistol under the mattress and took it out. The boys were playing in the living room of the home, and the pistol discharged one time while the child who lived in the home was handling it. The victim was struck and was immediately incapacitated. The child carried the victim out of the home," the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office said.
The incident was discovered when older neighborhood school children were later let off their school bus.
"Based upon conditions observed in the home during the search and the fact that the ten-year-olds were unsupervised in the home with access to a loaded pistol, a warrant was obtained charging a parent of the child with unlawful neglect of a child and was served last Tuesday. The parent posted bond last Wednesday. No minor children are currently in the home," the sheriff's office said.
This case remains open and ongoing.
“This was a heartbreaking and tragic loss for the family of this ten-year-old victim, and everybody who knows about this case including all the officers who have and continue to work on it have been affected by what happened. Although we are confident in the basic facts of this incident, this is an ongoing investigation. We are working closely with Solicitor Randy Newman and his staff to determine what steps are next for this child and whether charges are appropriate for any others involved in this case regarding the circumstances leading up to and following this incident," Sheriff Barry Faile said on Monday.