Months after a Colleton County man and his 9-year-old daughter were killed in a hunting accident, authorities have filed charges against the fellow hunter they say mistook them for deer and opened fire.
Sean Peterson, a 30-year-old Colleton County resident, faces two counts of negligent use of a firearm while engaged in hunting that resulted in death. If convicted of the misdemeanor, he faces up to three years in prison for each count.
Investigators with the state Department of Natural Resources said the three hunters were trying to drive deer near Walterboro on New Year's Day.
Thirty-year-old Kim Drawdy and his daughter Lauren were taking advantage of the last day of deer season when Peterson saw movement and opened fire, thinking the father and daughter were deer, DNR spokesman Robert McCullough said.
Lauren was a fourth-grade student at Cottageville Elementary School, and her father graduated from Walterboro High School. His Facebook page showed the pair bonded over hunting.
South Carolina has a few hunting accidents each year, though most people recover. In 2019, two people died in hunting accidents involving firearms, according to DNR spokesman David Lucas.
About half of hunting accidents result in charges, McCullough said.