South Carolina teen turns himself in after he shoots at road sign and accidentally kills retired marine on nearby porch
17-year-old Eason Reid Gravley has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a handgun. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted
A teen from South Carolina was arrested after he discharged his gun at a road sign, only for it to end up hitting and killing a retired marine who was sitting on a porch nearby. The 17-year-old, identified as Eason Reid Gravley, subsequently turned himself to the Greenwood County Police, where he was charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a handgun.
According to a press release by the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office, the incident unfolded on October 10 in Hodges SC, with deputies responding to a residence call on Johns Creek Road at approximately 11:25 pm. It was found that 48-year-old Major Joe Darius Black Jr., a retired United States Marine who had served the country for over 20 years, had suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest.
The origin of the bullet was initially unclear, with an investigation earlier determining that an unknown subject — later discovered to be Gravley — was firing a handgun at a road sign placed at the T-intersection of Pinetree Drive and Deadfall road.
While firing at the road sign, one of the bullets was thought to have passed through or by the sign and entered the wooded area in front of Black's residence, which was also home to his wife and children. Black, who was sitting on the front porch at the time, was struck on the chest and later succumbed to the wound in a nearby hospital.
The veteran's wife and children were inside the home at the time of the incident, according to deputies. Black's family had administered CPR before the arrival of EMS personnel, who continued to treat the victim, deputies said. He and his family had only recently moved into the home.
Police had requested anyone with information pertaining to the culprit to come forward and promised a reward for the same, though Gravley would turn himself in at around 9 pm last Saturday, October 13.
Gravley has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting death, according to police. Additionally, he has been charged with possession of a handgun.
A statement from the sheriff's office said that the 17-year-old was later released from the Greenwood County Detention Center on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.
As a condition of his release, a judge ordered that all firearms be removed from his residence and mandated that he be placed under a curfew. If convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge, Gravley could face up to five years behind bars.
It was not immediately clear why the teen was shooting at the road sign. Black is survived by his wife and four children.