An unbelievable story has just come out of South Carolina, involving two young boys – 8 and 9-years-old, who are being charged in the shooting death of a retired man in South Carolina.

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The story goes that 62-year-old Danny Smith was on a tractor tending to some family property when he was struck down and killed by a bullet to the back. Officials found Mr. Smith, dead, slumped over on his tractor.

It turns out that two boys, 8 and 9-years-old are responsible for the shooting, and are now being charged with Involuntary Manslaughter.

Breaking 911 reported that the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is charging an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old with Involuntary Manslaughter in relation to the shooting death last week of 62-year-old Danny Andrew Smith.

“After a consultation with the Solicitor’s Office, and based on the evidence obtained in our ongoing investigation, we believe that both juvenile males discharged a firearm in a reckless manner in the direction of Mr. Smith who was bush hogging on some family property,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “At this time, it is still undetermined which shot ultimately struck and killed Mr. Smith. However, based upon South Carolina law, the hand of one is the hand of all and that is why Family Court has been petitioned in regards to charging both juveniles with Involuntary Manslaughter.”

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Smith’s wife, Marilynn Smith, called 911 around 9 p.m. June 23 after she went looking for her husband, whom she could not reach by phone. The property where he was working is located on Coffee Road near Westminster.

“Deputies responded to the scene and located Mr. Smith slumped over the steering wheel, unresponsive, on a tractor that was still running but had gone down an embankment, striking a tree,” a news release stated. “Based upon evidence obtained during the investigation, and from the autopsy, it was determined that Mr. Smith had sustained a single gunshot wound to the back.”

Smith’s wife, Marilynn Smith, called 911 around 9 p.m. June 23 after she went looking for her husband, whom she could not reach by phone. The property where he was working is located on Coffee Road near Westminster.

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“Deputies responded to the scene and located Mr. Smith slumped over the steering wheel, unresponsive, on a tractor that was still running but had gone down an embankment, striking a tree,” a news release stated. “Based upon evidence obtained during the investigation, and from the autopsy, it was determined that Mr. Smith had sustained a single gunshot wound to the back.”

“With a charge of involuntary manslaughter, it has to be shooting in a reckless manner. So, we do believe they shot in the direction of Mr. Smith on the tractor, and not just shooting up in the air,” Sheriff Crenshaw said. “We don’t think there was any malice. We don’t think it was premeditated, that their intent was to actually kill Mr. Smith, but when you fire a firearm in the direction of another person, in a reckless manner, then that is considered involuntary manslaughter.”

“We don’t know at this point 100 percent if they actually knew him,” Sheriff Crenshaw said.

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What a tragedy. Those young boys will now likely spend the bulk of their young lives incarcerated and the family of Mr. Smith has suffered unspeakable loss.

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This is a nightmare situation all the way around. But more has to be uncovered to determine if this was just carelessness, or if they knew the man and something else was afoot.

 

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