Who was Danny Andrew Smith? Boys, 8 and 9, charged for shooting South Carolina man dead
OCONEE COUNTY, WESTMINSTER: Authorities have charged two boys, aged eight and nine years old respectively, with involuntary manslaughter after they reportedly shot and killed a man with a .22 caliber rifle while clearing down undergrowth in a South Carolina field.
Guns are no toy for children, and youngsters have run into unfortunate situations for using them in the past. In October last year, a three-year-old Texas boy accidentally shot himself dead on his birthday using a gun that fell from a family member’s pocket. In a similar incident, a toddler shot and killed himself with a loaded gun kept under the pillow at his Georgia home. In another alarming incident, a mother was reported teaching her seven children to use high-powered guns so they don't have a "victim mentality".
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In the most recent that bears the consequences of how dangerous a gun can be in the hands of a child, Danny Andrew Smith lost his life after he was shot with a gun by both boys while riding his tractor in a field near Westminster on June 23, according to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw.
#BREAKING: The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is filing a petition in Family Court in reference to charging an 8 year old and a 9 year old with Involuntary Manslaughter in connection to the shooting death last week of 62 year old Danny Andrew Smith.— Cody Alcorn (@CodyAlcorn) July 2, 2021
Who was Danny Andrew Smith?
Danny Andrew Smith, 62, was from Westminster, according to the Daily Mail. He was reported missing by his wife on the night of Wednesday, June 23, after being unable to contact him, according to WSPA. He was allegedly operating a tractor for "bush hogging," a method of clearing fields. She told deputies that she had heard the tractor running and saw it in the woods. Smith was discovered shot in the back on the running tractor on a Westminster farm on Coffee Road, according to investigators, who said he was killed sometime between 3 and 5 pm. The tractor had gone down an embankment, hitting a tree, Fox News stated.
Speaking to WSPA about the tragedy, Smith's sister Vickie Wilbanks said Smith was her only brother. "It's a very difficult time because we haven't gotten over losing our parents three days apart and now I've lost the only brother I have," she said, adding that Smith was bush hogging their parents' property when he was shot. “We were just devastated. Devastated, and heartbroken because he is such a precious man. Never would harm anyone. Everyone loved him,” she said.
Danny Andrew Smith, 62, was found slumped over the steering wheel of a running tractor. He was unresponsive and had gone down an embankment, striking a tree.https://t.co/IlEB1Vr3YQ— WLNS Newsroom (@WLNS) July 3, 2021
Smith's death, according to Haskell Long, a neighbor who lives near the family's home, was a "shock" and he thought that it may have been an accident. "It was really a shock. Nobody expects something like this where we live. It's just something you don't hear of, and knowing Danny, he don't have any enemies. I have no clue about anyone that would shoot him," Long said. He added: "We feel terrible that something like this happened and the loss of him. He was just such a great person. I just hate to lose someone like that."
The Oconee County Sheriff's Office has filed a petition in Family Court, which is equivalent to filing charges against an adult, according to deputies. "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. 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," the Sheriff's office said in a statement.