A Walterboro mother says she is stunned by the accidental shooting that claimed the life of her 3-year-old son.
The boy, identified as Aiden Martin, somehow got hold of a gun late Friday night and shot him in the head, Colleton County Sheriff’s Lt. Tyger Benton said. He died at approximately 6 a.m. Saturday at MUSC, Benton said.
“I keep waiting for him just to come home, not even come home, just to pop up, ‘Mama, what are you doing? Mama, what are you doing? It feels like a dream but it’s a nightmare,” the child’s mother, Arika Williams, said.
The child’s death has been ruled the result of an accidental shooting, investigators say.
No charges have been filed but the incident remains under investigation.
“Aiden was innocent, my baby was innocent,” Williams said. “He was only three like he had his whole life to live and Aiden was innocent.”
The boy’s father told deputies he and his son had gone to a trailer that evening when Williams dropped off two of his other children. The father said there were approximately seven adults at the home at the time of the shooting, the report states.
The father told deputies he was inside the trailer’s living room when he heard a “pop” approximately 10 to 15 feet away in the kitchen, the report states. The father looked in the kitchen and saw his son bleeding from the head, scooped him up and ran out of the trailer looking for someone to take them to the hospital, the report states.
“We need justice, we need justice, there’s no way Aiden was in a house full of people, don’t nobody know what happened,” Williams said.
The father said he only knew one person in the trailer at the time of the incident and said a friend of his rents the trailer, the report states.
“This is a three-year-old, a little baby, a little baby,” Williams said. “He was supposed to start school this year. He can’t even start school. I will never be able to see my child again.”
Deputies say the boy’s father consented to a gunshot residue test, which he passed.
“Nobody should have to go through this,” Williams said. “No child should ever, ever, ever. If it is your child you would say something, you would want justice. You would say something because right is right and wrong is wrong.”
On Monday, the sheriff’s office reclassified the report from a case of “aggravated assault” to “accidental death” after speaking with Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey and the MUSC medical examiner, the report states.
Investigators have not identified the owner of the gun.
Child was grandson of woman accused of kidnapping baby from Florida hospital
The child’s mother says Aiden was the grandson of Gloria Williams, the Walterboro woman who made national headlines after she was charged with kidnapping a baby from a Jacksonville hospital and raising it as her own in Colleton County.
Williams is awaiting sentencing to a charge of kidnapping after entering a guilty plea in that case in February. She took the stand in a Jacksonville courtroom Friday, saying she had a miscarriage in 1998, the same year she was accused of taking the child.
Investigators in Florida determined Williams entered a Jacksonville hospital in a nurse’s uniform on July 10, 1998, and took the baby.
Meanwhile, a gun safety group said it planned to gather at 5:30 p.m. Monday and hand out gun locks in response to Martin’s death.
Martin’s funeral will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Walterboro.
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