Crime & Public Safety

6-year-old boy shot in Beaufort; his father has been charged

Randall Smalls
Randall Smalls

Updated at 4:10 p.m.

A six-year-old boy was shot in the leg and hospitalized, and his father was charged late Sunday, according to a Beaufort Police Department report.

Randall Levontay Smalls, 30, of Beaufort, was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child and possession of a firearm by a person unlawfully in connection with the wounding of the child outside a Beaufort hotel.

Beaufort Police Department officers were at Beaufort Memorial Hospital at about 9:09 p.m. on an unrelated incident when dispatch told them Smalls was driving his son to the hospital, a department news release says. A police report says the child’s femur bone was shattered by the gunshot.

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The child was later transported to Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston in stable condition, the police report states. The news release says the department did not know the current condition of the child.

“The initial investigation revealed that while Smalls was manipulating his firearm inside his vehicle, it accidentally went off, striking the child in his leg,” the news release says. The vehicle was parked outside the Best Inn at 2448 Boundary St.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office assisted the investigation with a K-9 unit, a report from the office states, searching an area on Old Salem Road.

“The suspect stated that he threw the weapon into the woods,” the Sheriff Office report states. That search was called off later by the Beaufort Police Department because the suspect “changed his story ... and advised the weapon was not in the woods.”

Smalls is being held at Beaufort County Detention Center on a $125,000 bond for the charge of unlawful conduct toward a child and a $25,000 bond on the firearm charge.

This story will be updated.

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