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Explosion closes gun range in South Carolina; now under investigation

Three family members were killed during an apparent robbery at a Grantville, Georgia, gun range on Friday. (Dreamstime/TNS)
April 07, 2023

An indoor shooting range in South Carolina has been closed indefinitely after a sudden explosion near the injured a customer and sent dust, debris, and shrapnel flying.

An incident report indicated the explosion went off in front of three firing lanes at Kilo Charlie Shooting Range in Lexington on Sunday, with at least 13 people nearby, local news outlet WIS reported. One man drove himself to the hospital after being hit in the face with debris, according to the incident report.

An anonymous customer told WIS they were “firing, and I noticed on the floor, it looked like sparklers were going off. And at that point, I stepped back and the whole floor exploded.”

There is not yet any explanation for the blast as the incident remains under investigation by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. The gun range has closed, with no information yet on when it will reopen.

“It is with great sadness we announce the need to shut down until further notice due to an unexpected event,” the gun range wrote in a post on Facebook, adding, “MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW SOON.”

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The anonymous customer quoted by WIS said his gun bag and firearms were still covered in concrete dust two days after the explosion. He showed the outlet a picture of his ear protection and said it had been scuffed by shrapnel.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s department said the explosion was likely accidental and not a crime. Still, the customer called for accountability over the mysterious explosion.

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“I don’t know whose fault it is, but I want somebody to own up and take responsibility. You could have cost lives. You could’ve killed families. Husbands, wives, grandparents, we were all there. Yeah, it’s an accident. We call accidents ‘accidents’ for a reason. But this was preventable. 100% preventable,” the customer said.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.