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The Latest: Shooting called ‘a tragic accident’

PINETOWN — A 6-year-old girl was fatally shot in Pinetown on Tuesday evening, according to a press release from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. The call came in to the sheriff’s office at approximately 6 p.m. and deputies arrived at the scene on Main Street in Pinetown to find the child fatally wounded, according to Lt. Jim Vanlandingham, an investigator with the sheriff’s office.

Victoria Irene Whitehurst died from a shotgun wound — a death that has been ruled accidental, according to Chief Deputy Charlie Rose.

Law enforcement officials said there was “zero indication” that the incident was anything other than a tragic accident and that there was no indication in any way that harm was intended.

In the course of interviews with eyewitnesses, as well as collecting physical evidence, sheriff’s office investigators learned Victoria was visiting the Main Street home and staying with two other juveniles: a 12-year-old female and an 11-year-old male.  The boy was showing the two girls a shotgun he received for Christmas when the gun went off, struck Victoria, killing her and injuring one of the family dogs, according to Vanlandingham.

First responders, including Pinetown Fire/ EMS, Beaufort County Emergency Medical Services and sheriff’s office deputies, were immediately dispatched to the scene. Upon arrival, first responders found that Victoria was deceased, the press release stated.

The press release also stated that the family dog suffered minor injuries and was taken for medical treatment.