PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – Quarius Naqua Dunham, a third grader from Portsmouth, N.H. was killed over the weekend when police say he and his family were victims of a random shooting in South Carolina.
According to the Florence County Sheriff's office, 40-year-old Charles Montgomery Allen allegedly shot at three cars as they drove by his home on Saturday.
Dunham was rushed to the hospital after being shot in the neck. The 8-year-old was removed from life support on Sunday and later died. His father was hit in the leg, but is expected to survive.
Portsmouth superintendent of schools Stephen Zadravec said in a letter to families that counseling will be available throughout the week.
"Our hearts are with the family as we support each other through this unbelievable tragedy," Zadravec said.
Parent Laura Stoll says she struggled to tell her son that his friend won't be returning to school. "This was a completely random act, it's just really heartbreaking and it's terrible to have to tell your child news like this, it's really hard," Stoll said.
"I truly can't imagine what his friends and family are going through, it's a lot," parent Emily Weidman said.
Allen was arrested after the incident. He is charged with one count each of murder and attempted murder along with possession of a weapon during a violent crime and three counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle.
"It's unimaginable from any perspective," Portsmouth Mayor Deaglan McEachern said. "Our hearts go out to the family and when they do return to Portsmouth we will show them just how strong of a community they have."
Florence County Sheriff TJ Joye told WBTW that Allen was likely under the influence of drugs.
"No motive. Just probably methed up. He's got a history. He's incarcerated now without incident. Just a senseless, senseless act," Joye said.
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