A 9-year-old girl and her father were shot and killed in South Carolina on New Year's Day after being mistaken for deer by fellow hunters, officials said.
Lauren Drawdy and her father, 30-year-old Kim Drawdy, along with two other hunters, were attempting to move deer to a spot set up for hunting when one of the hunters shot the father and daughter, according to a statement from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).
Colleton County Coroner Richard M. Harvey confirmed to BuzzFeed News that both victims died of apparent gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene. Officials did not say what type of weapons were used.
“Of all days — bringing the New Year and something like this happens... It’s been a rough night for everybody,” Kim’s brother, Benny Drawdy, told news station WCSC.
The incident took place at around 2:30 p.m. off Barracada Road in Walterboro, which is about 50 miles from Charleston. It was also the last day of the deer hunting season.
Colleton County Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy told BuzzFeed News that his team responded to a 911 call and were led to a spot about half a mile into the woods to reach the victims. McRoy said it was a thickly wooded area that was inaccessible by vehicles, and responders had to carry their equipment for the last stretch. The first responders arrived around the same time as law enforcement.
Autopsies are planned for over the weekend as an investigation continues.
“Shocked, just shocked and sad. It shouldn’t have happened," Shirley Williams, a friend of the family, also told WCSC. "How some simple hunting trip could turn into a tragedy is beyond me."