FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — An 8-year-old New Hampshire boy died Sunday after being shot in the neck the day before by a man who authorities said was firing at cars driving by his home in Florence County, according to Coroner Keith von Lutcken.
The child’s father, who was driving the car, was also shot in the leg but is expected to survive, von Lutcken said. His name has not been released.
The shooting happened while the family was on vacation in South Carolina.
Quarius Naqua Dunham died after being taken off life-support, von Lutcken said. He had been in the hospital in critical condition since the shooting, which Sheriff TJ Joye said happened in the area of Old River Road.
According to von Lutcken, an autopsy is planned for Friday at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Before the child’s death, authorities charged Charles Montgomery Allen, 40, of Florence, charged with two counts of attempted murder, three counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
“No motive. Just probably methed up. He’s got a history,” Sheriff TJ Joye said. “He’s incarcerated now without incident. Just a senseless, senseless act.”
In the family’s hometown in New Hampshire, Portsmouth School Department Superintendent Steve Zadravec gave WBZ-TV News a statement that went out to parents about the shooting.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share the sad news that one of our third grade students at LHS was killed this weekend. His family was on vacation and were victims of a random shooting in South Carolina. An event like this touches our community as a whole. Our hearts are with the family as we support each other through this unbelievable tragedy.
“For parents looking for support in speaking with their children, The Child Mind Institute has some resources about dealing with and talking about grief in a developmentally appropriate way that you may find helpful.
There will be increased counseling support at LHS starting tomorrow and counselors across the district are prepared to support any student or staff member who may need assistance in this difficult time.”