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'He was life': Coach remembers 6-year-old boy shot, killed in Orangeburg County

6-year-old Winston Hunter was playing at home when bullets tore through the house, killing him.

WOODFORD, S.C. — In the small Orangeburg County town of Woodford, balloons, a teddy bear, and flowers are tied to a fence at Bethlehem Baptist Church, where friends and family stopped by to remember 6-year-old Winston Hunter, who was shot and killed on Friday.  

Germaine Hook, who coached Winston, got emotional when describing the 6-year-old. 

"It's got to be his smile, it's just his whole spirit altogether. He was life," Hook said. "It's like being in a party and nobody's doing nothing, and Winston walks in everything just brightened up, that's how it was. He made sure you knew he was there, he made sure he came to you."

Coach Hook said Winston was active in sports, but also shared a bright personality. 

"I don't know, it's shocking to hear about what happened to him, like that's my little buddy and now being at the field is not going to be the same." 

RELATED: 'Togetherness, love and peace' disrupted by 6-year-old's shooting death; mayor urges answers for family

An incident report released by the Orangeburg County County Sheriff's Office on Monday said the Hunter family had just come home from a family gathering on Friday night, and Winston was playing in the house when bullets tore through the home. A man in the home attempted to perform CPR on the child, but it was too late, according to the report. 

"We will always remember him and the impact he's had in his short life and he's had a tremendous impact here, and we thank the Lord for that" Hook said. "We are going through that pain and grieving part with the family, the church family, as well, and we are moving and trying to get to that point where we can become grounded a little bit deeper and know that it's going to be alright. We are not losing faith." 

Posted by Bethlehem Baptist Church of Woodford, Inc on Sunday, May 15, 2022

"I'm going to be looking for him and I'm not gonna see him, but I know he's gonna be there in spirit, so I plan on keeping on doing what I got to do," Hook said. "My next football camp is in honor of him. My game Saturday was in honor of him. So, that's what I'm gonna keep doing. Now, everything is in honor of his name." 

The church plans is inviting the community to help build a balloon memorial, asking for people to come at any time they feel fit to honor Winston Hunter. 

RELATED: 'Vehicle of interest' sought in killing of 6-year-old Orangeburg County child

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