SANTEE – A Holly Hill-Roberts Middle School student died Monday night after someone fired shots from a wooded area near his home. The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office is investigating.
Tyler D. Benjamin, 14, of Tee Vee Road, Santee, died at the Regional Medical Center on Monday.
"Circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Benjamin are under investigation by the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office," Orangeburg County Chief Deputy Coroner Sean Fogle said.
"The Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office will be conducting an autopsy on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020,” he said.
Deputies were called to 3104 Tee Vee Road around 7:48 p.m. Monday in reference to a shooting incident, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.
A witness reported Benjamin and another male were sitting on their home’s front porch when a white Honda and grey Acura passed, according to the report.
Shortly afterward, gunshots began to ring out from a wooded area near the home, the report states. Benjamin was shot.
The other male placed Benjamin into a vehicle and transported him to the Santee Healthplex, according to the report.
A few days earlier -- at about 3 a.m. Saturday -- someone fired several shots at the Tee Vee Road residence while a woman and four juveniles were inside.
The bullets went through the front of the residence, through the living room wall and into the mother and children's bedroom and bathroom, an incident report states.
The mother said prior to Saturday’s shooting, she observed a small car with a loud muffler sitting at the stop sign at Antioch Road and Tee Vee Road.
No injuries were reported in Saturday morning’s incident.
It was not immediately clear if the two incidents are related.
Following the news, the Holly Hill-Roberts Middle School principal met with faculty and staff during their Tuesday morning break. Shortly thereafter, he shared condolences with the student's family and discussed support services, Assistant Superintendent for Communications and Business and Community Partnerships Merry Glenne Piccolino said.
"This death is impacting our school community and we are grieving the loss of an Orangeburg County School District student," Glenne Piccolino said. "Our school counselors are supporting students and staff members requesting support at this time."
In a statement on the death, Holly Hill-Roberts Middle School Principal Robert Hemby said, "The loss of a classmate can lead to differing reactions from children and are a normal part of the grief process.
“As you prepare to share this loss with your child and monitor his/her response, a document titled ‘Helping Children Cope With Loss’ may be useful."
The document appears on the district's website: ocsdsc.org.
"Should you believe that your student or family would benefit from speaking with our school counselor, please let me or one of your student’s teachers know," Hemby said. “Thank you, in advance, for keeping the student's family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time and please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything that we can do to assist your student."
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