PINETOWN, N.C. (WNCT) – The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of a 6-year-old girl who was killed Tuesday after deputies said her 11-year-old cousin’s new shotgun went off while he was showing it to her.
Deputies were called out to a residence in Pinetown around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and first responders said they found 6-year-old Victoria Whitehurst had died of a gunshot wound.
The Sheriff’s Office said Victoria was visiting the home of her 11-year-old cousin and a 12-year-old girl, who are not being named.
The boy was showing the two girls a shotgun he got for Christmas when the gun went off, struck and killed Victoria and injured one of the family dogs, deputies said.
The dog suffered minor injuries and was taken for medical treatment, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Those who have visited the family said the 11-year-old is distraught.
“He’s a good boy,” said neighbor Kaliff Moore. “But, phew, I just can’t imagine how the family is now. We just need prayers up there for them.”
Jennifer Gray, a family friend, said Victoria and the boy were close.
“They got along great,” said Gray. “They were more like brother and sister a lot of the times because, you know, Victoria was here a lot.”
Neighbors are in disbelief and want the community to remember the little girl whose life was cut short.
“We’ve all gotten to know Victoria,” said Gray. “She was here a lot, so we all got to know and love her.”