According to Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies:
• On April 12, a 5-year-old boy accidentally discharged a rifle stored in the trunk of a vehicle parked at a neighbor’s home in the 200 block of Wild Bird Lane near Gaston. Fragments from the bullet hit Juliet in her chest as she played nearby.
• The shooting occurred when the mother of the boy who fired the rifle unlocked a car’s trunk so he could retrieve a toy pistol. Instead, he unintentionally grabbed the rifle, and it fired through the right rear of the car.
• Another 5-year-old boy playing with the slain girl is recovering from wounds in his right forearm.
• The boy’s mother said she didn’t know the loaded rifle was there. The weapon and car belonged to a boyfriend of the mother. He was unaware she was going to the car, and no one else knew about the rifle.
• The man’s possession of the weapon is permissible under state standards. U.S. Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco agents have been asked to review his eligibility to own a weapon under federal standards.
During the funeral service, adults sang the hymn children often learn by heart.
“Jesus loves me, this I know,” they sang. “For the Bible tells me so.”
Mourners cried and grieved over the small, white coffin at the front of the church.
Both pastors comforted the congregation with promises of God’s love and salvation.