South Carolina – A parent’s worst nightmare is losing their child. And for the Twitty family, whose 10-year-old son wanted to be a police officer when he grew up, their worst fears became a reality last week.
A South Carolina sheriff’s office investigating the November 15 death of a 10-year-old boy named Dylan Twitty said on Monday that the child involved with a treacherous incident was accidentally shot in a friend’s mobile home as the friend was handling a handgun.
While a horrifying incident for one to digest, especially the parent of someone affected by such a horrible circumstance, there’s hardly much solace one could find from that news.
Dylan Twitty’s family had been seeking answers with regard to their son’s death since he was found on the ground between two mobile homes, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest by a boy who had just gotten off a school bus, according to reports. One could only imagine the angst associated with seeing their child suffering compounded by the confusing details of the scenario.
The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office was involved with the investigation into what led to the death of 10-year-old Dylan. After the department had exhausted investigative scenarios and possibilities, they determined that this homicide was actually a terrible accident.
“After extensive work over the last 11 days investigators have determined that the victim in this case was killed by another ten-year-old male child during the handling of a 9 mm pistol inside a mobile home,” the department said in a news release.
The mother of the boy who pulled the trigger of the weapon that took the life of Twitty now faces charges related to the neglect of leaving her son being home alone, which ultimately led to the circumstances that formulated the fatality of the young Twitty, according to the news release.
I’m in Lancaster County this morning where investigators have revealed who they say killed 10-year-old Dylan Twitty before dragging his body outside. This happened 10 days ago. The new details make the story even more heartbreaking. Tune into #WakeUpCLT on @wcnc. pic.twitter.com/6qUq0Bvceu
— Billie Jean Shaw (@BillieJeanTV) November 26, 2019
The sheriff’s office says the mother kept the gun under a mattress and her son took it out while the boys were playing.
According to investigators who were working the case, “The boys were playing in the living room of the home, and the pistol discharged one time while the child who lived in the home was handling it.”
Apparently the investigators spoke to the child suspected of firing the weapon twice, once on the night of the incident and again on November 22.
While engaging on an interview on Fox News, Dylan’s mother said investigators had advised her that after the shooting had occurred, the other boy dragged Dylan out of the home and left him on the ground where he was eventually found.
Delia Twitty, 44, said she was told that the boy then went back into the house and cleaned up the blood.
“It’s a very sad, tragic thing,” she said.
The odd conditions surrounding the young boy’s behavior after allegedly killing Twitty could leave any parent confused whether it was an accident or whether there was a degree of intent hidden somewhere.
UPDATE: We’ve learned Dylan Twitty was killed by his 10-yr-old friend who was playing with his parent’s pistol left under a mattress in the home. The parent is charged with unlawful neglect of a child @WBTV_News https://t.co/M0Tac59zE3
— Caroline Hicks WBTV (@CarolineHicksTV) November 25, 2019
Dylan was a fifth-grade student at Erwin Elementary School in Lancaster, South Carolina. During his time in school, he was a straight-A student.
The now deceased boy mother said that her son had just been inducted into the Beta Club at Erwin because of his grades. She told the Lancaster News last week that Dylan wanted to be a police officer when he grew up.
When recounting her son’s adoration for showcasing his moral compass, she stated:
“He was always telling me stuff like, ‘Make sure you put your seatbelt on. He had such a good sense of right and wrong, and he just wanted everybody to do the right thing.”
Just a few weeks ago, another little angel who wanted to grow up to be a police officer was taken from this earth too early.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Abigail Arias, the child who became an officer, a change agent for good and today, an Angel,” Freeport Police Chief Raymond Garivey posted to Facebook. “Her love, compassion, and most importantly, her magnanimous spirit, will live on for generations to come.”
Abigail Arias, or Officer 758, as she is known in the Houston area, lost her battle with cancer after years of fighting.
She was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor in her kidney, a type of cancer that doctors said has no cure. She was first diagnosed with cancer at age 4 and after going through treatment and chemotherapy, she’d achieved remission.
But a few months later, she was once again diagnosed with the aggressive disease.
In February, Abigail was sworn in as honorary police officer No. 758 at the Freeport Police Department, which had been a dream of hers.
“Look around this room today. There’s a lot of people in power in the state of Texas. But there’s not a lot of people who can bring all these people to one place, and that’s huge, and that says a lot for this little girl who sits right here today,” said Garivey.
This is a little girl who lived like there was no tomorrow, all why hoping and praying that there would be.
She had dreams, and with the help of some people who grew to love her, she was able to se them fulfilled. Not only was she an honorary member of the Freeport PD, but she got to go to Game 1 of the World Series.
She was able meet one of her heroes, Jose Altuve, before the game. She gave him a Relentless shirt and bracelet, which he immediately put on. He wore the bracelet during the game.
Her father, Ruben, posted the following:
“Thank you to Jose Altuve for taking the time to meet with Abigail. Abigail gifted him with her Relentless Shirt and he immediately put it on as well as her bracelet. He said he would wear it during the game.
A very emotional time and amazing fellowship. Thank you to Twila Carter with the Astros organization that also had a hand in making this happen. Most of all to Octavio Tijerina Jr., because of his Relentlessness to continue to reach to the Astros. Abigail was so excited to have been given this opportunity to.
She even asked him if he could hit a home run for her. God bless.”
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
She touched the entire Houston area, all the way from Port Freeport, roughly 40 miles south of downtown Houston. She was loved and adored by her family, both by blood and by badge.
The United States Secret Service posted a message on their LinkedIn page.
“It was privilege to call you an honorary Secret Service Agent, Abigail. You will be missed by the Houston Field Office and the entire Secret Service. May you rest in peace, we have the watch from here.”
Earlier this year, she got to tour the state capitol with Texas Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, who posted to Twitter.
“The greatest joy of my year was meeting & falling in love with our Angleton Angel, Abigail Rose Arias. My family & I extend our sincerest condolences & prayers to Ruben, Ilene, & Ethan during this difficult time. Officer Abigail’s courage & inspiration will linger with us always.”
The greatest joy of my year was meeting & falling in love with our Angleton Angel, Abigail Rose Arias. My family & I extend our sincerest condolences & prayers to Ruben, Ilene, & Ethan during this difficult time. Officer Abigail’s courage & inspiration will linger with us always. pic.twitter.com/jIbepuLVdQ
— Speaker Dennis Bonnen (@RepDennisBonnen) November 5, 2019
Garivey spent a lot of time posting videos and photos of the journey he, his wife and the men and women of the Port Freeport PD walked with Abigail.
Keeping his final promise to her, earlier today he posted a heartbreaking video on LinkedIn:
“Keeping my promise to my Abigail. You wanted me to make a video telling everyone that I love llamas, so here it is baby girl. Cops do play with llamas! I love you, kiddo! #prayingfor758#stayrelentless#abigailstrong
He was able to spend time with Abigail before she passed, which has helped to bring him peace.
“The last couple of days, she hurt really bad and I didn’t want to see her suffering anymore,” said the police chief. “So, I’m at peace because I know she’s at peace and that’s what she would want me to do. So, Abigail, I’m at peace and I love her.”
Law enforcement officers from across Texas came together to escort Abigail’s casket from Angleton to Stroud Funeral Home in Clute.
She was carried from her home, where she was in Hospice care, in a flag draped casket. She was afforded the same honor as any fallen officer would receive.
Garivey said two police officers from various law enforcement agencies would stand watch outside the funeral home until she was laid to rest.
Thank you Chief Garivey for showing us what it looks like to be a servant leader.
But more importantly, thank you for showing us what Relentless courage, love and joy look like.
May we all strive to live as relentlessly as you did.
On a side note… clearly Officer Abigail’s insistence that the Chief acknowledge that cops love llamas is something that will never be forgotten.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!