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13-year-old shot on boat was firing toward bank with grandfather, police say

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CHOCOWINITY, Beaufort County - The case of a 13-year-old boy shot in a boat in Chocowinity earlier this week turned into a case of 'Who shot first?'

According to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, a 13-year-old boy was taken to the Vidant Beaufort Emergency Department by his grandfather suffering from a single gunshot wound.

Upon investigating, they found the boy and his grandfather had been out on a boat on Sidney Creek firing .22 caliber rifles toward the east bank of the creek. They reported seeing a person on the bank who fired a gun in their direction shortly before the 13-year-old was shot.

Interviews with the man on the bank revealed he was in his yard when he heard bullets flying past him in the direction of his house. Despite repeated attempts to get the attention of the two in the boat, the shooting continued, he said.

Based on physical evidence and eyewitness testimony, BCSO said it believes the 13-year-old was struck by a ricochet and was not intentionally fired upon. The District Attorney's Office will have the final say on any possible charges in the case.

The family of the 13-year-old boy, who lives in Asheville, said he did not require surgery for his wound and has been released from the hospital.

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