3-year-old child killed by gunshot wound in Port Royal apartment, coroner says

  • In US
  • 2021-12-06 18:08:19Z
  • By Hilton Head Island Packet

A 3-year-old boy died of an apparent gunshot injury at a Port Royal apartment on Friday, according to authorities.

The boy died at 4:40 p.m. at the Oak Hill Terrace apartments off Ribaut Road in Port Royal, Beaufort County Coroner David Ott said.

The Port Royal Police Department is investigating the death and refused to provide more information, including the boy's identity, nearly three days after the shooting.

Around 4:27 p.m. Friday, Port Royal police officers received a call about a "negligent discharge of a firearm resulting in death" at the apartments, according to a log of calls Port Royal police responded to recently.

The shooting was logged as "NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER."

A reporter for The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette went to the Port Royal Police Department on Monday morning and was initially denied any information about the shooting.

The reporter asked for information on the time and place of the incident, and the department provided a three-sentence description.

"On 12/03/2021 at approximately 1630 hours Officers from the Port Royal Police Department were dispatched to a report of a shots fired incident. Upon officers arrival to the scene they located a juvenile male child deceased. This incident is still being investigated and no further information will be released," the description said.

Asked for a reason the public record was not being released, as required under the Freedom of Information Act, a Port Royal police official said they want to have all their facts straight before they release anything.

"We are admitting that a tragedy happened," Maj. Ron Wekenmann said Monday to a reporter. "We do not release the identity of the parents because that would reveal the identity of the juvenile. We have to protect the victims."

An autopsy for the child is scheduled for Tuesday at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.


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