Four men allegedly drinking and using drugs at a Bluffton mobile home early Christmas Day were passing around a loaded gun when it went off. The shot struck a 25-year-old man in the head and killed him, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
The man holding the gun when it discharged is now wanted on charges of involuntary manslaughter, the Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday.
Investigators are searching for Andrew Thomas Bogart, 31, of Bluffton in connection with the death of Adrian Hilliard.
Bogart, whose last known address is on Huggins Hollow Lane, fled before deputies arrived at the mobile home at about 1 a.m. Sunday.
Bogart is also believed to have fled the state, possibly to New York, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.
Bogart owned the gun that he, Hilliard and two others were passing around at Hilliard's home on Jade Stone Court early Christmas Day, the release said.
Law enforcement and emergency medical personnel discovered Hilliard with a single wound to the head after receiving a call from someone at the home, Sgt. Robin McIntosh has said.
Hilliard died Sunday morning after being flown by helicopter to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah. County coroner Ed Allen confirmed Wednesday the cause of death was the shot from the handgun.
Investigators received differing accounts about the shooting from witnesses, McIntosh has said.
For example, one account from a person at the scene states the alleged shooter was someone the four men at the home didn't know -- a story that later changed, McIntosh said.
Investigators have been attempting to locate Bogart for questioning since the shooting, the release said.
Bogart is described as white, about 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, with long brown hair, brown eyes and a goatee. He has a green "Superman" tattoo on his right bicep and a baby devil with a pitchfork on his right forearm.
Follow reporter Allison Stice at twitter.com/lcblotter