South Carolina police have arrested a man and accused him of shooting and killing an innocent 5-year-old boy, as reported by WMBF.
Rodney Thomas Pittman Jr., 29, of Hartsville, faces numerous charges in the shooting the child, authorities have indicated. Investigators note that, initially, the little boy survived being shot and was taken to the hospital. On Saturday, however, the unidentified 5-year-old perished from his injuries, according to WBTW.
Upon being taken into custody, the boy was still alive, so Pittman was charged with attempted murder. Police have not said if he will face the charge of murder now that the child has died, though that charge is likely forthcoming.
Lt. Robby Kilgo, of the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, has not given a possible motive for the crime but did say that the accused lived in the home with the child, along with his mother. South Carolina Now has said that Pittman and the victim’s mother were dating at the time of the alleged shooting. Neighbors told reporters that the couple were very private, though they did say they noticed the boy playing in the yard once in a while.
Kilgo expressed grief over the loss of such a young child.
“It’s a very difficult investigation, but that’s why we have this special victims unit to do these kind of difficult ones,” he said. “They know how to work these cases and this is what they are here to do. This is very much different than any type of investigation. You’re dealing with an individual who lived in a residence with a child and now that child has been injured in a shooting.”
As far as formally upping the charges to murder, Kilgo told reporters that police are focused on interviewing witnesses and wrapping their head around the alleged crime.
“Right now we will concern ourselves with interviewing witnesses and people who may have been present for this action and go from there and determine what charges are necessary,” he said.
Pittman will be arraigned on Sunday, according to court records.
[Featured Image: W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center]