FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — An 8-year-old boy visiting South Carolina from New Hampshire was shot and killed by a man randomly firing a gun at passing cars from woods near his house, authorities said.
Quarius Naqua Dunham died Sunday, a day after he was struck in the neck by a bullet while riding on a rural road in Florence County, Coroner Keith von Lutcken said.
The boy’s father was also hit by a bullet in the leg and survived, the coroner said.
Charles Montgomery Allen, 40, was arrested in the woods and charged with murder, attempted murder and four counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, Florence County Sheriff T.J. Joye said.
The sheriff said Allen appeared to be high on drugs and deputies had dealt with him in the past, but investigators aren’t sure why he started shooting at cars Saturday.
“Just a senseless, senseless act,” Joye told WBTW-TV.
Allen is being held without bond and jail records did not indicate if he had a lawyer.
A second driver who attended the bond hearing said a round hit the roof of his car as he drove on Old River Road.
“I noticed the gentleman was taking aim and I said, he’s going to shoot again, so I ducked and stepped on the accelerator to get past him and he shot again,” Calvin Cade said.
Quarius was a third-grade student at Little Harbour School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
“An event like this touches our community as a whole,” Portsmouth schools Superintendent Steve Zadravec wrote in a message to the community on Monday. “Our hearts are with the family as we support each other through this unbelievable tragedy.”