A 3-year-old is recovering in the hospital after his uncle says the boy was shot while the two were fleeing bullets Sunday afternoon.
The shooting, according to the boy's uncle, happened around 4 p.m. near Lakewood.
According to Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis, the uncle told investigators that he and the toddler, identified as Tyreese Smith, who was not in a car seat, were being shot at by someone inside a vehicle that was following them on Pack Road near Amberwood Drive.
Investigators said the uncle reported seeing flashing headlights behind him and someone with a handgun shooting from the passenger side window.
Dennis said the uncle told investigators he pulled over, grabbed Smith, and started running away. It was then that the toddler was hit by a bullet, according to the uncle.
The uncle said he heard the toddler crying and discovered that the boy had been wounded. He ran back to the vehicle and drove the boy to the hospital, the sheriff said.
The uncle believes the car that was following him was a black older model Pontiac Grand Am.
Dennis said investigators are still trying to figure out just how the boy was shot because the uncle's story is not consistent with their evidence.
Capt. Allen Dailey says deputies didn't find any bullet casings in the neighborhood and deputies say neighbors they spoke with didn't see much.
The boy is in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the left side of his rib cage. Investigators plan to interview the toddler and family members to see if their story matches with the uncle's.
If you know anything about this incident, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
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