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Student killed in accident mourned

POSTED: February 24, 2014 8:29 p.m.
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Landry Oliver

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Landry Oliver was “a joy to be around,” according to Wallace Blackstock, the boy’s principal at Marlow Elementary School.

Oliver, 9, died Friday after being shot Thursday night at his home in Effingham County.

Funeral arrangements were finalized Monday, the same day the child’s autopsy was conducted in Savannah. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at Riggs Funeral Home and funeral services will be Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Countryside Baptist Church.

The shooting occurred around 7 p.m. Thursday at the Olivers’ home in the 1000 block of Zittrouer Road. Oliver was home with an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old, and “other family members were nearby,” according to Effingham County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor.

The boys were “playing” with a gun, Ehsanipoor said, which he described as an “old .22 caliber rifle.” Oliver was shot in the head, according to investigators.

“It appears just to be a tragic accident,” Ehsanipoor said. “Somehow when they were playing with the rifle, it went off.”

Oliver, a fourth-grade student at Marlow Elementary School, was flown by LifeStar helicopter to Memorial Health University Medical Center. He was pronounced dead Friday at the hospital.

Blackstock said he had known Oliver since he was a toddler. He taught with Oliver’s mother at Rincon Elementary and also was his older sister’s kindergarten teacher.

“I truly consider the Oliver family my extended school family,” he said.

“Landry was one of those students who brought a smile to everyone,” Blackstock continued. “He was friends with all who knew him. He was just a joy to be around.”

Several additional counselors were available at MES on Friday for any students who needed them, Blackstock said. Under the Effingham County School System’s emergency crisis plan, Marlow can continue to call on those additional counselors for as long as they are needed.

“We will address needs one day at a time,” Blackstock said. “His loss has been felt by all who knew him.”

Results of the boy’s autopsy were not known at press time.

“This appears to be an isolated incident and there are no initial signs of foul play at this time,” Ehsanipoor said. “I’m calling it an accident, assuming that’s what the autopsy finds.”

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