Man charged after 1 wounded in accidental shotgun blast

Published: Jan. 21, 2013 at 12:53 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2013 at 7:06 PM EST
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William Thibodeau (Source: CCSO)
William Thibodeau (Source: CCSO)

WALTERBORO, SC (WCSC) - Authorities arrested one person Sunday after a 20-year-old man was critically injured in a reported accidental shooting in Walterboro.

Colleton County Fire & Rescue Chief Barry McRoy said the shooting happened just after 2:30 p.m. Sunday at a home in the 200 block of State Street, just three blocks from Colleton Medical Center.

McRoy said the 20-year-old was struck in the upper chest at near point blank range by a shotgun blast.  The man's girlfriend acted quickly and controlled the heavy bleeding before rescue crews arrived.

Walterboro Public Safety has charged William James Thibodeau, also 20, with discharging a firearm within city limits.

According to an incident report, the 20-year-old victim was shot with a black Mossberg shotgun.

On Tuesday, Walterboro Public Safety spokesperson Elizabeth Boineau said both the victim and Thibodeau told officers the shooting was an accident.

The victim and Thibodeau said the shotgun discharged as Thibodeau was handing the shotgun to the victim.

The victim's girlfriend told officers she thought the two men were playing when she heard the shotgun blast. She says the victim then staggered around the corner and screamed her name.

The victim was taken to Colleton Medical Center and then flown to the Trauma Center at Medical University of South Carolina.

The man underwent surgery immediately and was listed in critical condition Sunday.

We tried to get an update on his condition Tuesday, but the man's family will not authorize the release of that information.

The incident remains under investigation.

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