3-year-old twins shot after finding unsecured gun in Florence home, sheriff’s office says

Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 10:51 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 28, 2023 at 9:11 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The Florence County Sheriff’s Office revealed how two toddlers were shot over the weekend.

Deputies were called Saturday afternoon to a hospital after twin three-year-olds were brought in with gunshot wounds.

Investigators learned that while the twins were unsupervised at a home along Rockwood Lane, one of the victims found an unsecured gun and fired a shot. One child was shot in the foot while the other was shot in the thigh, according to deputies.

“The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in our Constitution,” said Sheriff TJ Joye. “But with that right comes the responsibility to keep firearms out of the hands of children or others not authorized to possess them. Parents, please make sure your firearms are secured to prevent incidents like this from happening.”

Neighbor Margie Byrd says she’s disappointed to hear about an incident like this, but admits, she’s not surprised at the gun violence.

“You know I can be in my backyard and it sounds like I thought it’d be firecrackers, but when I asked my husband about it, he said no, that’s somebody shooting a gun,” said Byrd.

Byrd has twin grandchildren and says when she heard of the shooting, her heart sank.

“I said oh my God! That could be you know my my grandkids,” said Byrd.

Reverend Yolanda Green-Lyde is an Ordained Minister at the House of God Church in Florence. She lives nearby and says children are her passion. Her church started a conference call prayer session every weekday afternoon.

“We just want to encourage everyone that it’s not the time to give up, but to look up,” said Reverend Green-Lyde.

Authorities said after the shooting, Daquan Butler, who had custody of the children at the time, was driving the toddlers to the hospital when he was involved in a crash.

Daquan Butler
Daquan Butler(Source: Florence County Detention Center)

A passerby stopped to help and drove Butler and the kids to the hospital.

The twins are expected to be OK.

Butler was arrested and charged with two counts of unlawful conduct toward a child. He was released on Sunday on a $10,000 bond.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing and additional charges are possible in the case.