“I am deeply sorry,” Grandfather of Sumter 12-year-old charged in connection to teen’s death speaks

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Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 10:47 PM EDT
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SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - The Sumter Police Department is investigating after a 13-year-old boy was shot to death on Sunday.

A 12-year-old and 17-year-old are now facing charges in connection to the shooting.

Police said 13-year-old Chestnut Oak Middle School student Akeem Pugh was found unresponsive lying next to an unused car after he’d been shot in the Falcon Crest neighborhood located on Flamingo Road.

WIS spoke briefly with Akeem’s mother as she was headed to make funeral arrangements for her son.

She declined to go on camera as she is mourning the loss of her son.

Shantaia Rouse said she was sitting at home just a few doors down from the scene when her nephew came running to her crying that her son had been shot.

Rouse said the 12-year-old, now charged in connection with her son’s murder, was a close friend of his and that the two were always together.

“For the family of the little boy I am deeply sorry,” said Robert Pugh.

Robert Pugh is the grandfather to the 12-year-old now facing an involuntary manslaughter charge and lives across the street from where the shooting took place.

“I wish there was something I could do or be able to give it back but I can’t do that at this time,” Pugh cried.

According to the Sumter Police Department, officers received a shots fired call around noon.

“Apparently one of them had a gun in there and they were passing it around it got to my grandson and somehow went off,” Pugh explained.

But those details are still being investigated by officers.

WIS was at the scene of the shooting as the homeowner of where the shooting took place had the car towed on Tuesday afternoon.

Neither Akeem nor the 12-year-old lived at the home where police say the shooting happened.

“I was just sitting inside of the house, and I heard a pop. I came out here and saw him lying on the ground,” said the homeowner.

The homeowner did not want to be identified but said both her son and Akeem were also good friends.

“He was a good boy everybody loved him. Them boys were always hanging together, playing basketball,” said the homeowner.

Robert Pugh’s grandson is currently being held at the Department of Juvenile Justice along with a 17-year-old who’s been charged with accessory before the fact in connection to the shooting.

“A 12-year-old don’t know no better and they’re playing with guns and that’s a bad thing. But parents who ever got kids around here, please for the life of me, keep them in the house, please,” Pugh pleaded.

And Pugh told WIS his grandson is still in shock following what happened.

Police stated the 12-year-old will not be charged as an adult, but where the gun came from is still being investigated.

A spokesperson from the SPD told WIS the accessory after the fact charge the 17-year-old is facing relates to how the kids got access to a gun.

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