Friday, 05 July 2019 19:37

SHERIFF: Victim's accidental death was fireworks related

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ROCKINGHAM — A dangerous Independence Day game turned deadly in the Little Philadelphia community Thursday evening.

Sheriff James Clemmons said Friday evening that the medical examiner determined the approximate cause of the accidental death of 22-year-old Donterris Goins, 22, of Wind Blow, was “fireworks explosive related.”

Clemmons said a group of people were shooting fireworks at each other.

WSOC-TV reported that people in Gaston County were using fireworks as weapons — even shooting them from moving vehicles — directed toward other people or property, including into homes.

Last year in South Carolina, multiple media outlets reported a Cheraw man was killed when he accidentally shot a mortar into his own chest during a neighborhood “mortar war.” Another man in that group reportedly lost part of his hand earlier in the day.

Clemmons had issued a statement earlier Friday to combat reports that Goins was killed by an officer. 

WSOC initially reported that a Rockingham Police officer was involved, which both Clemmons and Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly refuted.

The sheriff called in the State Bureau of Investigation for assistance.

The investigation is still ongoing.