Sumter County teen charged after 19-year-old dies playing “game” with handgun

SUMTER, SC (WBTW) – The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office says they have arrested one person after a 19-year-old was shot in the chest Thursday night.

Ken Bell with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office says Rhythm Portee,17, of Rembert, was charged with manslaughter after 19-year-old Kyre Raquan Bethea of Sumter was found dead Thursday night.

Deputies were called to Somerset Drive around 6:50 p.m. On arrival, deputies found Bethea suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. Paramedics took the victim to the hospital where he died. The body was sent for an autopsy Friday morning.

Witnesses told deputies that the two men were playing some kind of game with the handgun when it went off, striking Bethea in the chest. Portee reportedly ran away,  but was arrested at a nearby home. Portee and Bethea were acquaintances prior to the incident, the press release from Bell says.

Investigators determined the gun was stolen during a recent car break-in. The gun did not belong to Portee.

According to Bell, Portee was already out on bond for an attempted murder case in December where he shot and injured a man.

Portee will have a first appearance hearing at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.