“Be sure of your target and what’s behind it.”
The fourth cardinal rule of firearms safety was violated by a 17-year-old South Carolinian last Wednesday- and a twenty-year Marine veteran was killed as a result.
48-year-old retired Major Joe D. Black Jr. was taken from his family after being fatally struck in the chest by a stray bullet. The shooter, 17-year-old Eason Reid Gravley, was reportedly attempting to shoot holes into a road sign.
Greenwood County investigators say Gravley’s bullet “passed through or by the road sign” and traveled through a wooded area in front of Black’s home.
Deputies were dispatched to the home at around 11:30 PM, shortly after the incident took place. Upon arrival, they found a mortally wounded Black, who would later succumb to his wound.
Black had served with the US Marines for two decades, retiring as a Major. He leaves behind a wife and four children.
According to The State, Gravley turned himself in on Saturday night, and was later charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a handgun. Released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond, the teen has been issued a curfew and was ordered to surrender all his firearms. He faces up to half a decade in prison.
Neighbors, spoke highly of Black, who was portrayed as an energetic and helpful individual.
“He was a very nice man,” neighbor Joe Woodward told Fox Carolina, “A hard worker and he took care of his family.”
Black was involved in fundraising for various charities, including Meals on Wheels, which targeted hunger among the elderly in the US.
“We have people that are hungry. We have elderly that need that touching hand every day,” said Jenifer Neuhoff, “Because no one is going to see them. That was his love and that was his passion.”
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