When South Carolina 8-year-old Mason Hanahan asked his mother if he could stay at his dad’s house after baseball practice on Monday, she never imagined his life could be at risk.
But around 12:20 a.m. on Tuesday, a shootout in the father’s home would cost Mason his life, WISTV reports.
The shooting occurred when a masked home invader broke into the residence and was confronted by the child’s father, according to a spokesperson for the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD).
Mason was hit when the dad and home invader exchanged gunfire. He later died as a result of the injury, Lexington County Coroner’s Office wrote in a Facebook statement:
According to Coroner Fisher, an eight-year-old resident of the home, Mason Hanahan, was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at an area hospital as the result of an apparent gunshot wound.
The boy’s mother, Tyler Hanahan, is now speaking out about the tragic loss. She told WISTV that the situation still hasn’t fully sunken in:
“We’re all devastated. I keep thinking this is not real, and I’m going to be able to go and pick him up from school.”
Tyler said her son, who loved Superman and baseball, was close with his two siblings — especially his younger sister:
“He adored his family and his siblings and was practically inseparable from his 6-year-old sister.”
The mom added:
“He was just perfect. I can’t explain it. I know I’m his mom, but he was just so special. He loved life and love everyone around him.”
The LCSD spokesperson said that a man in the home was also shot during the shooting, but didn’t confirm if it was the child’s father. The man’s injuries are not life-threatening.
Police are still on the search for the home invader, who they do not have a description of due to his mask.
LCSD is asking anyone who may have witnessed the shooting to come forward with tips.
However, police have confirmed that the home invasion was not random because the home has drug connections.
Linda Lyn Monette, 23, lived in the home and was arrested on drug charges on Tuesday night. Police have not connected her arrest to the shooting.