EASLEY, S.C. (WHNS) — Deputies in Pickens County, South Carolina said a car crash led to the discovery that a 4-year-old boy was shot by his father in Easley on Monday night.
Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said a couple got into a verbal fight at their Lacy Lane home that turned violent when 21-year-old Travis Blake Carlton fired several shots from a semiautomatic handgun.
Hashe said the couple’s son was sitting inside a car when shots were fired directly into the passenger side of the vehicle, hitting the boy in the chest.
At about 7:43 p.m., the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office received several calls about a wreck on Saluda Dam Road.
When deputies arrived to help South Carolina Highway Patrol at the crash scene, they said they found one of the cars involved in the crash was driven by the woman taking her son to the hospital. Deputies said the crash happened about a mile from where the shooting took place, and no shots were fired at the crash scene.
When deputies responded to the couple’s home, they said Carlton was located and taken into custody. Deputies said they also found a .40 caliber gun at the home.
The mother and her son were taken to the hospital for the boy’s gunshot wound and injuries she received in the wreck, deputies said. Hashe said she was not shot and both are expected to survive their injuries.
Carlton is being held in the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility until he appears before a Pickens County judge. Deputies said Carlton is expected to be arraigned on two counts of attempted murder Tuesday afternoon.
Online jail records show Carlton was also charged with abuse to inflict great bodily injury upon a child, two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature in addition to the two attempted murder charges.
FOX Carolina spoke with neighbor Vickie Long on Tuesday who said she heard the shots fired Monday night.
Long said the couple has lived in the home for about six months. She said she has heard gunshots on several occasions, often late at night or early in the morning.
“Last night we heard several gunshots during the day, and then when it got dark last night, right as it was getting dark we heard about four rounds go off and then quit,” Long said. “And then we heard a car take off real fast. I thought somebody was running from him or something, the way he shoots all the time.”
Long said she did not see anything until after deputies arrived, afraid to go outside when they heard the shots.
The sheriff’s office said a bond hearing scheduled for Carlton on Tuesday afternoon was waived.