Former Marine Killed By Accidental Shooting

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Eason Reid Gravley, 17, didn’t think he was causing anyone harm when he allegedly shot a road sign in South Carolina, but the bullet wound up killing a retired U.S. Marine.

According to Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, the shooting occurred around 11:30 p.m. Oct. 10 on Johns Creek Road in Greenwood County.


Maj. Joe Darius Black Jr., 48, was sitting on his porch when the bullet struck him in the chest, Fox News reports. His wife and children were inside, and attempted to keep him alive with CPR before emergency responders arrived.

But it was too late. Black Jr. died at the scene.

Source: U.S. Marines
Maj. Joe Darius Black Jr.


Gravley turned himself in to authorities the following Saturday. He is being charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a handgun in connection with the former Marine’s death.

Source: Facebook/Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office
Eason Reid Gravley, 17.


“Gravley stopped and exited his vehicle at the intersection of Pinetree Drive and Deadfall Road in the Hodges area of Greenwood County,” a warrant said. “There Gravley fired numerous shouts at a street sign and one projectile struck Joe Darius Black … in the chest causing his death.”

After his initial booking, Gravley was released from the Greenwood County Detention Center on a $25,000 bond. He’s now subject to a court-ordered curfew, and all firearms have been removed from the teen’s home.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Gravley allegedly stepped out of his vehicle to shoot a street sign before Black Jr. was killed.


Maj. Black, Jr. retired in 2015 after 20 years in the Marine Corps. He leaves behind his wife and four children. According to the Marine Corps Times, he will be buried on Oct. 20 with full military honors in Greenwood, S.C.

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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