Coroner: James Island grandmother's death was suicide

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said the 58-year-old woman who was found dead in her James Island home died as a result of suicide.

According to Wooten, Paula O'Neal died of a self-inflicted wound to the neck. Wooten said there were no other medical conditions that contributed to O'Neal's death.

"It's not unheard of... that a parent about to take their lives will take the life of someone significant in their life. Sometimes it's a spouse. Sometimes it's children," Charleston County coroner Rae Wooten said.

She went on to say there was an altercation between O'Neal and her 10-year-old grandson. He is currently in fair condition at the hospital and in the custody of the Dept. of Social Services, officials said.Charleston County deputies said O'Neal made an attempt to harm her grandson before taking her own life.Wooten said "a number of knives" were found in the home. There was also "written communication" found in the home showing O'Neal was distraught and considering ending her life.At least two Charleston news outlets said O'Neal died as a result of a fatal stabbing stemming from the incident with the boy without any sort of confirmation from the coroner's office on how the woman died or information on what transpired in the house.The day of the incident, officials were tight-lipped about what happened in the Howle Avenue home, saying only that someone "introduced a knife" and that the boy ran to a neighbor's home covered in blood.Emergency 911 calls made by the neighbor said the 10-year-old boy had several cuts and said that his grandmother had tried to kill him.In the recording, the boy also told the neighbor he took the knife away from his grandmother and threw it in a ditch. Deputies said Friday they had recovered a knife outside the home.