South Carolina Man and Daughter, 9, Killed After Being Mistaken for Deer While Hunting
Kim Drawdy, 30, and his daughter Lauren, 9, were hunting in South Carolina on New Year's Day, the last day of the state's deer season
A father and daughter were shot and killed while hunting on New Year’s Day, according to authorities.
The two hunters were mistaken for deer, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, which is currently investigating the incident. Four hunters were driving deer — a maneuver where people approach the targets to get them to move — when the two were shot at around 2:30 p.m.
Kim’s brother, Benny Drawdy, spoke out about the tragedy on Thursday, telling WCSC that his family is “devastated” by the situation.
“I couldn’t believe it when I first got the news,” said Benny. “… It broke my heart and I couldn’t believe it — a twin brother and now there’s only one left.”
He added: “Of all days, ringing in the New Year, something like this happens.”
A friend of the Drawdys, Shirley Williams, told the outlet she was “shocked” when she learned of the tragedy.
“It should have never happened, should have never happened,” Williams said. “How some simple hunting trip can turn into a tragedy is beyond me. I don’t know how it could possibly happen.”
Autopsies will be conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina on Sunday, according to WCSC.
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Colleton County Fire and Rescue Chief Barry McRoy told PEOPLE that first responders were led by a man on a dirt path into a wooded area, eventually reaching a point impassable for vehicles. Crews then carried medical equipment to the scene, eventually finding the victims about a half-mile into the woods.
Both victims were dead upon arrival, said McRoy, and they had wounds consistent with a shotgun injury.
A fundraiser was set up on Facebook to help cover funeral costs for Kim and Lauren, with more than $3,600 raised by Friday morning.