9-Year-Old South Carolina Boy Killed In Thanksgiving Hunting Accident

A nine-year-old boy has died after sustaining an accidental gun shot during a hunting trip on Thanksgiving.

According to family members, Colton Williams, a fourth grader from Orangeburg County, South Carolina, was hunting rabbit with his father and a family friend on Thursday.

Williams was accidentally shot by his father, local news reported.

Williams attended Kelly Edwards Elementary School in the town of Williston, where he was on the honor roll. Since news of his death, both the elementary school and its district have taken to Facebook to express their condolences.

"The Kelly Edwards Elementary School family wishes to express our deepest condolences to the family of fourth grade student Colton Williams," school officials wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. Parents and guardians, we will have extra counselors on campus Monday morning if any students need any grief support or help of any kind."

The Willison School District asked that the community "please join in with the KEES/Williston School District 29 family as we lift the family in prayer" while noting that "counselors will be on-site at KEES Monday morning, and will continue to be available throughout the week and longer, if needed."

See posts, photos and more on Facebook.

"Nine years old? That's going to hurt the classmates and everything else and the principal," an unidentified school official told NBC4 of Williams' death. "Everybody [knew] him."

Williams "took piano lessons, won the marksmanship award at Camp Woodie, love every sport, and was a huge Clemson Tiger fan," his grandfather told local news station WRDW, which also noted he had been chosen to play on the all-star football team at the Williston Blue Devils junior recreation league.

To NBC4, he said: "This is hard. We are thankful to God for the 9 years we had with him, though. He was the brightest light in our lives."

On Friday, a GoFundMe page has been created to help the boy's parents, Brian Williams and Caiti Furtick, pay for the funeral costs.

"This sweet little boy, 9 year old Colton Williams, gained his angel wings today on thanksgiving after a hunting accident this morning," wrote Colin Ashe, on the page "Him and his family is from the barnwell area in South Carolina He absolutely loved the outdoors and was such a beautiful, talented little boy His parents, Brian Williams and Caiti Furtick are two of the best people I have ever met. This devastating loss to their family is so heartbreaking. I want to ease this burden any way I can.

The fundraiser has generated nearly $14,000 from 271 donors as of Saturday afternoon.

According to Williams' obituary, in addition to his parents, survivors include both his maternal and paternal grandparents, his maternal great-grandparents, his paternal great-grandmother, nine aunts and uncles and several cousins.

south carolina
November trails in full fall color in South Carolina - stock photo Simplyphotos/ iStock / Getty Images Plus