An 8-year-old boy on vacation in South Carolina was fatally shot when a man who accidentally shot at passing cars hit his family’s vehicle, authorities said Tuesday.
Quarius Naqua Dunham, a third-grader from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was fatally wounded in the shooting Saturday near Florence, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office said.
Quarius’ father, who was driving the car, was hit in the leg, it is stated in the release. The boy was shot in the neck and pronounced dead at a local hospital Monday, NBC Boston reported.
Charles Montgomery Allen, 40, was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and other crimes, the sheriff’s office said.
“Investigators allege that Allen fired several random shots at passing vehicles,” the office said. No motive has been determined.
In a statement, Portsmouth Schools Superintendent Steve Zadravec said Quarius – a third-grader – was on vacation with his family in South Carolina at the time of the shooting, according to NBC Boston.
“An event like this is affecting our society as a whole,” he said. “Our hearts are with the family as we support each other through this incredible tragedy.”
Portsmouth Mayor Deaglan McEachern told the station: “You are going on holiday to create lifelong memories with your children, and for this tragedy to hit this family, I just had a stomach ache.”
It was not immediately clear whether Montgomery, who is being held at the Florence County Detention Center, has a lawyer to speak on his behalf.