Man charged with hiding gun after toddler fatally shoots himself in Graniteville

Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 10:25 AM EDT
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GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A man has been charged with obstruction of justice in the case of a 2-year-old who accidentally shot himself with a gun over the weekend in Graniteville, according to authorities.

Authorities allege the man intentionally tried to hide the gun from them.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office says the 2-year-old, Jamarious Rogers, accidentally fired a gun Saturday, shooting himself in the upper body. Authorities say it happened on Gentle Bend Court in the Sage Creek neighborhood of Graniteville around 8:30 p.m.

He was taken to Augusta University Medical Center in Augusta, where the coroner says he died just a few hours later at 11:32 p.m. An autopsy will be done in Newberry.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that Zayalan Paige, 18, who lives at the address where the incident happened, was charged with obstruction of justice.

In the incident report describing what happened when authorities were called after the shooting, a deputy wrote of finding the boy’s mother sitting on the roadway holding her son in her arms. The deputy could see that the boy was suffering a gunshot wound to the chest.

First responders arrived and began treating the victim.

The officer saw a man later identified as Zayalan Paige “frantically running around the scene,” according to the report.

The officer asked him where the gun was, and he answered that it was his gun and it was gone, according to the report.

Authorities detained the man, according to the report.

The arrest warrant alleges that Paige “did intentionally hide a handgun in the woods near Village West Lane, Graniteville, Aiken County, in an effort to prevent impede, or interfere with the administration of justice.” He hid the gun before authorities could process the crime scene and any potential evidence, according to the arrest warrant, which states that the information was obtained from Paige.

The sheriff’s agency continues to investigate.

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