One of the fundamental rules of gun safety is an awareness of what is behind your target. Shooters need to know where their bullets will stop. This story illustrates why. A teenage boy, shooting a pistol at a road sign, ended up killing a retired Marine who was sitting on the front porch of his house.
Eason Reid Gravley, 17 turned himself in Saturday to authorities in South Carolina. He’s been charged with involuntary manslaughter after Joe Darius Black Jr., 48, died from a single gunshot wound to his chest on October 10. He’s also been charged with possession of a handgun.
“The veteran’s wife and children were inside the home at the time of the incident,” Fox writes. “Black’s family had administered CPR before the arrival of EMS personnel, who continued to treat the victim.”
Gravely has been released on a $25,000 bond. He’s also been placed under a curfew, and all firearms have been removed from his residence.
“It was not immediately clear why the teen was shooting at the road sign,” Fox writes. The habit, though, is common in rural America. Many signs show evidence of shotgun blasts. Signs in rural areas, where the noise is less likely to draw attention, are often used for target practice.
The simple act of vandalism has obvious risks, as Gravely’s case illustrates so painfully. Signs are typically on roads. As such, these are not safe safe spaces. Such considerations rarely occur, though, to those shooting at signs.
The involuntary manslaughter charge suggest that Gravely had no intention of killing Black. The house may not have been visible from where the shooting took place. Still, Gravely will have to answer for his gross negligence.