What was supposed to be a pleasant New Year’s Day hunt for a South Carolina father-daughter duo ended in tragedy.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that the two hunters were shot at around 2:30 p.m. after being mistaken for deer.
They were hunting with two others and were performing a hunting technique called deer driving when the fatal shootings occurred, the DNR said.
Richard Harvey, a Colleton County coroner, identified the two victims as Kim Drawdy, 30, and his daughter Lauren Drawdy, 9.
Kim’s brother, Benny Drawdy, told Fox 6 that the two were hunting on Wednesday near their home in Walterboro.
“When I got the message, I just couldn’t believe it,” he told WCBD. “My heart stopped when they told me it was my brother and his daughter.”
Benny added that Kim and Lauren have hunted the woods they were in many times before.
“He was a real outdoorsman,” he said. “He loved the outdoors like we all do, he loved to hunt and stuff.”
According to Benny, Kim and Lauren were extremely close, never seen far apart from each other.
“Lauren was with her daddy. She went hunting with him all the time,” he told ABC 4. “She was right there. If he went anywhere, she was right there.”
Their neighbour, Johnny Powell, echoed Benny’s sentiments, saying Lauren “loved her daddy to death.”
“I’ll never lose the pain of losing Kim. That’s how good a guy he was,” Powell said.
Colleton County Fire Rescue Chief Barry McRoy told CNN they were found nearly a kilometre off Barracada Road where they were hunting.
As yet, no arrests have been made or charges filed against the shooting suspects, authorities told the publication.
An autopsy will be performed at the Medical University of South Carolina, but it’s known they died from injuries sustained in the shooting.
DNR officials are referring to the shooting as an accident.