This happened in my neighboring city... Parents are now charged!

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Thread: This happened in my neighboring city... Parents are now charged!

  1. #1
    Member Array 376matt's Avatar
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    This happened in my neighboring city... Parents are now charged!

    I hate to hear of a child getting shot... Let this story be a reminder to all of us to not allow loaded firearms in the presence of children. This Father is now charged with involuntary manslaughter.


    Story Follows.... Link here


    SLED: Parents Charged After Son Kills Friend

    13-Year-Old Accidentally Shot

    POSTED: 5:45 pm EDT June 9, 2010
    UPDATED: 7:18 am EDT June 10, 2010

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    Comments (10)


    HONEA PATH, S.C. -- The parents of an Abbeville County boy who accidentally shot and killed his friend have been charged in connection with the shooting.
    According to the State Law Enforcement Division, Gregory Scott Hood, 43, of Honea Path, left a loaded gun accessible to his 11-year-old son last February 19 at his home on Ball Road.
    Hood and his wife, Danielle Elise Hood, 39, are charged with two counts of unlawful neglect of a child.
    Gregory Hood is also charged with involuntary manslaughter.
    According to SLED arrest warrants, the couple “put their children at unreasonable risk of harm by leaving numerous, unsecured firearms and ammunition in their home, making the weapons accessible to the children.”

    On Feb. 19, Dustin “James” Dean Ashley, 13, was staying at the Hood’s home with their 11-year-old son.
    Sheriff Charles Goodwin said, "He (the 11-year-old) was trying to put the gun back up in the rack and the gun accidentally went off. They had been hunting previously that day and he was trying to put it back on the rack.”
    Dustin was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
    Dustin was an eighth-grade student at Dixie High School, where he was a member of the junior varsity football team, as well as "Student of the Quarter.”
    Previous Stories:
    February 23, 2010: Vigil Held For 13-Year-Old Shot In Neck
    February 22, 2010: 13-Year-Old Shot In Neck Dies
    Copyright 2010 by WYFF4.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  3. #2
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    Wow. So this sounds more like an after hunting accident. Putting a loaded gun back in a rack? Sounds terrible to me, but not criminal.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Sad in any event. Pray for both of the boys and their families. If the boys were hunting with the gun, and were ok to do so by law, this was a terrible accident. The other guns and ammo in the house had nothing to do with this incident.
    Hiram25
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    Member Array Striker543's Avatar
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    This is aweful for all involved. 11 is too young to be handling firearms without adult supervision, let alone to have access to firearms without adult supervision. Open access at a hunting camp where the gun has a purpose is one thing, but at home, in a city, where the kid will be tempted to show it off to friends, is another.

    I feel terrible for all involved. I hope one day they can all find a way to move on.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Wow. So this sounds more like an after hunting accident. Putting a loaded gun back in a rack? Sounds terrible to me, but not criminal.
    Yeah, that's my take on it too. Sounds like they did not unload the weapon or have the safety on. Regardless, it's a terrible situation.

    Striker, Honea Path, SC is pretty rural. It's pretty likely that they could have walked to where they were hunting. I lived in the are for a while, just south of it. In one place I actually shot at a deer with a bow from my backyard. It's not like he was in Columbia or Greenville. Just an FYI.

    Not sure what they would be hunting right now though. And personally, I was hunting for years alone before I was old enough to drive. Probably around 11-12 yrs old.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

    "Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Not an accident, negligence...As on the part of the children both as primary.

    They concluded their activity and did not think, or know!, to check, verify and make safe their firearms including removing ALL ammunition AND clearing the chamber AS WELL as keeping the action OPEN during transport and at time of attempt to put their gun(s) away.

    'Hunting Incidents'

    Four Main Causes of Hunting Incidents

    Hunter Judgment Mistakes, such as mistaking another person for game or not checking the foreground or background before firing

    Safety Rule Violations, including pointing the muzzle in an unsafe direction and ignoring proper procedures for crossing a fence, obstacle, or difficult terrain

    Lack of Control and Practice, which can lead to accidental discharges and stray shots

    Mechanical Failure, such as an obstructed barrel or improper ammunition

    Source - South Carolina Hunter Safety Course - Safe Hunting and Safety at a Shooting Range
    This is basic stuff taught in every Basic Hunter Education course, which in SC is mandatory for all hunters; Hunter Education Requirements - IHEA

    At this age (11 to 13) children are old enough to get themself into trouble and young enough to be easily distracted and not recognize and/or forget how to recognize trouble in the first place.
    This is why parental guidance and active supervision is strongly suggested, so as to by a more clear and aware mind prevent easily avoidable incidents of operator/handler _negligence_ such as this.

    From the article is sounds like the issue for arrest and charging is not related to this specific gun, but rather to other firearms and ammunition as subsequently discovered within the home as by police.

    "...put their children at unreasonable risk of harm by leaving numerous, unsecured firearms and ammunition in their home, making the weapons accessible to the children."

    I will be forwarding this to my fellow BHE instructors (MA & NH) as well as adding this as yet another real world this could very well happen to your item of learning by proxy for toward my upcoming course inJuly and subsequent classes thereafter.
    This is important stuff to know and take note of not just for children but for parents too. Very likely both parent will be found guilty and do time against these charges, while the 13 yr. old who witnessed the negligent discharge he will be scarred for life.

    - Janq
    MA, NH & USFWS as well as IHEA certified BHE instructor

    "The four rules of firearm safety. Learn it, live it, love it...You gotta use your noodle!" - What I advise all firearm students, regardless of age or background & experience
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array BlueNinjaGo's Avatar
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    Does anyone here think that punishing the father is going to help either party? The boy has to live the rest of his life knowing he killed his friend, and now add the fact that he may be responsible for his father going to prison as well?

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNinjaGo View Post
    Does anyone here think that punishing the father is going to help either party? The boy has to live the rest of his life knowing he killed his friend, and now add the fact that he may be responsible for his father going to prison as well?
    The 13 yr. old did not kill his friend.
    Why the first sentence of the article states as much is a mystery...As the remainder of the article indicates otherwise.

    The 11 yr. old killed himself through negligence, and the 13 yr. old did not know or think any better to assist him in putting the gun away nor better yet to verify the gun(s) were safed to start.

    As to the father _and_ mother (of the now deceased 11 yr. old), they committed a crime per SC laws.
    Thus their arrest and being charged with multiple charges.

    Punishment for crimes is not generally dependent upon whether or not the punishment will actually help anyone.
    a mugger isn't not arrested and charged because it's possible the mugger may not be helped by being held with his feet to fire.

    There is a saying; If you can't do the time then don't do the crime.

    As related to this incident if the parents plural (mom and dad) had thought better toward active safety and providing an environment as within their home of same for both their son as well as those who would come to their home to visit (13 yr. old), then they would not be in this pickle and their son would be alive while their sons 13 yr. old friend would not for the rest of his life have to deal with the emotional & mental trauma of seeing the boy shoot himself...And there would have been no SC laws broken to result in arrest and charges.

    It's all trickle down and as with many things within ones home, the buck begins and ends with the parents and their parenting.
    Everything is all good, until it isn't. : |

    - Janq

    P.S. - Now this is a minimum of six more people taken off the voter roles as being pro-gun and pro-hunting.
    The deceased child, his parents who soon will be felons and thus unable to vote, the surviving child who very likely will become fervently anti-gun...As well as at a minimum both of his parents too.
    Add in any additional relatives as well as close friends, neighbors, co-workers and unattached fence riders among the SC citizenship who will no doubt read this as being a reflection of how dangerous and unnecessary guns are for any use.
    It trickles down.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array BlueNinjaGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    The 13 yr. old did not kill his friend.
    The 11 yr. old killed himself through negligence
    "Parents Charged After Son Kills Friend"
    "On Feb. 19, Dustin “James” Dean Ashley, 13, was staying at the Hood’s home with their 11-year-old son." "(the 11-year-old) was trying to put the gun back up in the rack and the gun accidentally went off. "
    "Dustin was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

    As I understand it, the 11 year old was handling the gun, it went off and killed the 13 year old who was staying there. And now his dad (and mom?) face criminal charges.

    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Punishment for crimes is not generally dependent upon whether or not the punishment will actually help anyone.
    a mugger isn't not arrested and charged because it's possible the mugger may not be helped by being held with his feet to fire.
    The mugger should be arrested and imprisoned because it helps OTHER people not be victims to his crimes...but I know what you mean.

    I feel bad for both families involved, and it's a shame such events have to happen before more people become responsible.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Difficult read...I re-read it three times and still am not sure.

    But if it was that way, 11 yr.old shot the 13 yr. old, the negligence remains toward the parents because as also stated; "...leaving numerous, unsecured firearms and ammunition in their home, making the weapons accessible to the children."

    They are being charged with facilitation of the circumstances...Not the actual murder by action of trigger pull.

    So yep, the parents being owners of the home with firearms & ammo there in are guilt of a crime in SC.
    Aswell if this is how things played out...Then they are culpable in civil court too for wrongful death as well as expenses, pain & suffering by the parents of the deceased (13 yr. old?).

    No matter how you look at it the parents of the 11 yr. old are on the hook.

    As to punishment this too will help other people not be victims to this manner of crime.
    Some other parent right now who keeps a home of exact same condition with children therein is putting away and properly securing their arms & ammunition because of seeing that these folk committed an arrestable crime that will suffer real criminal charges consequence.

    It shouldn't have to be that way.
    But then if that were the case there would be no story to tell here. : |

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    Yup. If I marry and have kids someday, gonna get me a combination safe from Gunvault(and me and my future wife definitely will practice opening it quickly while blindfolded. It would be a change since I always keep my guns unlocked when I am in the home.

  13. #12
    Member Array 376matt's Avatar
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    I think that it is fine for young men to go hunting and learn about firearms. Great father, son bonding.
    That being said... Boys this young should never be around firearms unsupervised... The Dad should have cleared all weapons before getting back into the vehicle or walking back.

    The article stated that there were numerous loaded and accessible firearms in the home. BAD IDEA!
    This to me indicates a father that did not respect the dangers of firearms.
    I don't care how much you teach your children gun safety. Children don't have the life experience needed to truly respect the dangers of firearms, and are more likely to make a mistake.

    That is all...

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker543 View Post
    This is aweful for all involved. 11 is too young to be handling firearms without adult supervision, let alone to have access to firearms without adult supervision. Open access at a hunting camp where the gun has a purpose is one thing, but at home, in a city, where the kid will be tempted to show it off to friends, is another.

    I feel terrible for all involved. I hope one day they can all find a way to move on.
    Interesting point of view. When I was 8 yrs old & on I was going out hunting with my uncle's, etc. all of the time. By the time I was 11, I had my own .22 and .410 shotgun and went out all the time by myself, without any supervision. I didn't have to "ask" anyone. I was responsible for it and the ammo, as well as that it was unloaded, etc. when in the house. We had been "taught" gun safety and took it seriously.

    In a case here very recently , it was first thought a 14 yr old was showing an 11 yr old a gun and it had accidentally discharged. Blame immediately was aimed at the parents. However, further investigation showed... the gun wasn't loaded. The 14 yr old obtained the gun and broke in to get the ammo and loaded it, and it was determined the shooting was NOT accidental at all, but intentional. Here, a 14 yr old can be tried as an adult under certain circumstances.

    I guess I'm suggesting is, don't make too many assumptions just based upon their age.

    And, if we take the stance that they cannot have a gun of their own and be considered responsible with it until they are 18, and here they cannot own a handgun until they are 21. However, we'll train them and stick an M16 and a handgun, missle system, tank, and other equipment in their hands at 18 if they join up.

    Yet, if the same 11 yr old had grabbed the gun and protected himself if some 'burglar's' broke in and had threatened the 2 kids, he would be hailed a hero.

    Seems ... we as a society talk out both sides of our mouth. I can guarantee you there are 11 yr olds and up toting handguns in their pants on certain streets in the USA.

    When do they become responsible ? When is an accident an accident and the person failed to act safely ? At what age ? Seems there are a lot of conflicting views , dependant upon the situation.

    I'm just asking some questions to provoke some thought, rather than the immediate emotional response to a kid being killed from a gun accident (ND).

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    This is a sad reminder that the weapons need to be kept away from the youngsters if they're not supervised. We keep loaded guns in our house as well, but they are locked in biometric pistol boxes that only open with my and my wife's fingerprints. This just reconfirms why we do that. Very sad.

  16. #15
    Member Array supv26's Avatar
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    As stated above, we also grew up with firearms in the home. They were a tool to be used just as a hammer in the tool box was a tool to be used. Just like the hammer we were taught how to use firearms and store them safely.

    All the kids had guns to use to hunt with or target shoot at there free will. It was nothing to see some kids walking down the street with a 22 or a shotgun and a handfull of squirrels or rabbits. We never had safes just rifle racks full of guns and pistols. And you can bet there was at least one of them loaded at ALL times!

    I do see some neglect in the parents here. I taught my son the same way I was taught with firearms. He had his own guns that he could use anytime he wanted too.
    It's not the destination, it's the journey.

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