Family members remember Iven Caldwell as being “full of life”

Caldwell died Monday after being shot in the head during a domestic dispute Saturday

NEWBERRY, S.C. (WOLO) — A seven-year-old from Newberry is dead after sustaining gun shot wounds during a domestic dispute Saturday.

Around 3 o’clock Saturday morning, several neighbors on Cherry Lane say they knew something wasn’t right.

“I just heard some gun shots, like pop pop pop pop pop pop, and I shook my husband and I asked him to get up. I suppose something had happened, somebody’s shooting. It was so close, I thought it was outside my bedroom window,” said Dinnie Hunter, who lives in Newberry and is the grandmother of Iven Caldwell.

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office says X’Zavier Davis, 26, shot at his partner’s car, who was driving away with her three children.

Sheriff Lee Foster says Caldwell, 7, was in the car, and was shot in the head. He died at a Columbia area hospital two days later. Foster says Davis is not Caldwell’s biological father, but he is father of the two other children in the car.

Some of Caldwell’s relatives say they will always remember his love of life and his infectious personality.

“He was a dancer, he was just a kid full of life. He had a bright future,” said Pastor James Boulware, who is related to Caldwell.

Others remember how he lit up a room and possessed a fierce loyalty to his family.

“He was a child that could touch anybody’s heart, to know Iven is to love Iven, and he had a great big smile. He’ll truly be missed in our family,” Hunter said.

Sheriff Foster says after the shooting, Davis locked himself in a home. After five minutes, deputies took him into custody.

Davis is currently being held at the Newberry County Detention Center. He was originally charged with four counts of assault and battery with intent to kill. After Caldwell’s death Monday, one of the counts of assault and battery was ramped up to a murder charge.

“Anybody who’s ever handled a firearm knows what comes out the end of that gun can cause harm, and he knew that. So it was irresponsible and grossly negligent,” Sheriff Foster said.

At the time of his death, Caldwell was a student at Gallman Elementary School.

“Iven Caldwell was funny, loving, had many friends, charismatic, a true people person, and had the most beautiful, infectious smile. He worked hard and never gave up even if the work was difficult. We were blessed to have him be a part of our Gator Family,” said Gallman Principal Nikki Hunter in a statement.

School counselors were on hand at Gallman Elementary School to provide assistance to students. The district’s Superintendent, Jim Suber, and the Director of Elementary Education, Dr. Beth Brooks, were on hand when school opened to offer their support.

The family says that they will have a memorial service for Iven on Saturday afternoon.

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