SUMTER, S.C. – Police in South Carolina say a 12-year-old trick-or-treater was killed when a convicted felon fearing a robbery fired nearly 30 rounds with an assault rifle from inside a house.
Sumter Police Chief Patty Patterson says T.J. Darrisaw died Friday evening after being shot multiple times. His father and 9-year-old brother were also shot, but were treated and released.
Quentin Patrick has been charged with murder and assault and battery with intent to kill. Police say the 22-year-old ex-convict told them he'd been robbed and shot in the past.
Police say T.J.'s family attended a Halloween celebration in downtown Sumter, 45 miles east of Columbia, then stopped at Patrick's house because the porch light was on.
The father and his four children approached a home with a porch light on about 8:30 p.m. EDT while their mother waited nearby in a vehicle.
As the family was at the door, they thought they heard fireworks. The 12-year-old boy, his father and brother were all hit by the gunfire. The boy died at a hospital, Coroner Verna Moore said. The other two children were not hurt.
T.J.'s father and brother were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The police chief said there were other people inside the home at the time of the shooting, but she didn't expect any of them to be charged.
A neighbor said he heard a loud noise about the time of the shooting and thought it was simply Halloween mischief.
"I thought, trick-or-treat night — pranks go down. Anything goes," said Lenwood Dixon, 49, who works at a hazardous waste and recycling company. "I heard a noise like maybe gunfire, then my daughter saw a bunch of lights flashing and saw some cops."
In his six years in the neighborhood, he said he wasn't aware of any violent crimes. He said a few trick-or-treaters had been on his block that night.
"I'm surprised. Since I was here, I'd never heard of anything like that happening. It's a quiet neighborhood," he said. "You don't see many children in the neighborhood. It's more elderly."