Crime & Courts

8-year-old shot and killed in Lexington County home invasion identified by coroner

A child was shot and killed during a home invasion in Lexington County on Tuesday, and the Sheriff’s Department said deputies are searching for the intruder, who wore a mask.

The call came in around 12:20 a.m. Tuesday from the 100 block of Cedar Vale Drive, according to Capt. Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. That’s off Jessamine Road, between U.S. 1 and Interstate 20 in the Oak Grove area.

The child was identified as Mason Hanahan, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said in a news release. The 8-year-old was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to an area hospital “as the result of an apparent gunshot wound,” according to the news release.

Investigators are asking for the community’s help in identifying the man who drove away after shots were fired, the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. The Sheriff’s Department said the intruder might have been shot in an exchange of gunfire with the man who lives in the home.

That man also suffered a gunshot wound that is not thought to be life-threatening, Myrick said in a news release.

“We’re still working to piece the sequence of events together, but getting a name on the man who fled the scene will be the most helpful to us,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said in the release. “The death of the young child during this incident is tragic and our hearts go out to his family.”

Because the suspect was wearing a mask while he was inside the home, investigators have no description of the him, Myrick said in the news release.

“It’s earth-shattering, actually,” said Roger Maxwell, who has lived in the neighborhood for three years.

He called the community quiet. “I’ve never felt unsafe in the slightest. ... People are very friendly,” he said.

Maxwell, 52, said he did not know the family but said he has a daughter in high school and this incident makes him worry about her safety.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 888-CRIME-SC or submit an online tip.

This is fifth shooting death in four days in Richland and Lexington counties. A man was fatally shot on Percival Road on Friday, two people were gunned down during a robbery at a Columbia apartment complex Saturday night, and a man was fatally shot off Parklane Road early Sunday.

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Teddy Kulmala covers breaking news for The State and covered crime and courts for seven years in Columbia, Rock Hill, Aiken and Lumberton, N.C. He graduated from Clemson University and grew up in Barnwell County.
Isabella Cueto is a bilingual multimedia journalist covering Lexington County, one of the fastest-growing areas of South Carolina. She previously worked as a reporter for the Medill Justice Project and WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she studied journalism and theatre arts.