A South Carolina man reportedly high on meth has been charged with the death of an eight-year-old boy.
The suspect, identified as 40-year-old Charles Montgomery Allen, allegedly shot three cars indiscriminately as they drove past his home on Old River Road near the city of Florence, South Carolina. CBS Boston reported.
Allen was arrested at his Old River Road home after a brief confrontation with a SWAT team, according to the Florence County Sheriff’s Department.
He is now charged with murder, attempted murder, unloading a firearm into an occupied vehicle and possessing a weapon while committing a violent crime.
He is being held without bond in the Florence County Detention Center.
The young victim, Quarius Naqua Dunham, who was from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was on a family vacation in South Carolina for Memorial Day when the unimaginable tragedy occurred.
The youth was hit in the neck. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition and placed on a ventilator before succumbing to his injuries and dying.
The young victim, Quarius Naqua Dunham, who was from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was on a family vacation in South Carolina for Memorial Day when the unimaginable tragedy occurred. Dunham is pictured here from a TikTok he posted on a special day, in what looks like some sort of graduation party
The suspect identified as 40-year-old Charles Montgomery Allen was arrested at his Old River Road home after a brief standoff with a SWAT team, according to the Florence County Sheriff’s Department
The boy’s father, who was driving the vehicle, was shot in the leg and is expected to survive. The mother, who was also in the car, was unharmed.
A motive has yet to be determined, but Florence County Sheriff TJ Joye called the tragic shooting a “senseless act.” VAT reported.
‘No motive. It was probably just a fallacy,” Joye said. “He has a history. He is now locked up without incident.’
On Tuesday, Charity Mills, the victim’s sister, posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook using broken heart emojis: “Baby boyy. omg. It hurts so much. HEERDD GIVE ME SOME POWER PLS. I love you quarius. I wish you could go home to your game and friends,” she wrote.
In a separate post, Mills shared the excruciating pain she felt at the loss of her youngest sibling.
“If I knew what I know now, that last hug would have been a lot firmer,” she wrote in part. “You fought well, honey. You were so innocent baby… remember the words I said to you… and always know that I love you so much, in my heart you will always have this special place.”
Portsmouth school principal, Stephen Zadravec, sent a letter informing parents, students and staff of the tragic news of their third grade student.
His family was on vacation and was the victim of a random shooting in South Carolina. An event like this affects our community as a whole,” Zadravec said in part. “Our hearts are with the family as we support each other in this incredible tragedy.”
Portsmouth Mayor Deaglan McEachern called the tragedy “unimaginable.”
“Our hearts go out to the family and when they return to Portsmouth we will show them how strong their community is,” Mceachern said in part.
The deadly shooting happened on Saturday when officers responded to a call of multiple shots at moving vehicles on Old River Road near the city of Florence, South Carolina at approximately 2:00 p.m.
Deputies said there were reports of two victims, including an 8-year-old child passenger in one of the vehicles, who suffered gunshot wounds.
A SWAT team and law enforcement officers are on the scene after the weekend shooting
The scene where Saturday’s deadly shooting occurred on Old River Road near the city of Florence, South Carolina, in which Quarius Naqua Dunham (8) was killed and his father injured
Allen, pictured here in court, is now charged with murder, attempted murder, unloading a firearm into an occupied vehicle and possessing a weapon while committing a violent crime. He is being held without bond in the Florence County Detention Center
The victims were transported to a hospital in the region for medical treatment.
Florence coroner Keith Von Lutcken said the child did not survive.
An autopsy is scheduled for Friday at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Parent Laura Stroll told WBZ-TV in Boston that she was having a hard time telling her son, who was friends with Dunham, that his boyfriend won’t be going to school anymore.
“It’s just really heartbreaking and it’s terrible to have to tell your kid news like this,” Stroll said in part.
Portsmouth School Department Superintendent said, “For parents seeking support in talking to their children, The Child Mind Institute has a number of resources on coping and talking about grief in a developmentally appropriate way that you may find helpful.”
He said there will be additional mentoring support for those and staff who may need assistance.
The investigation is ongoing, the officers said.