A 31-year-old Clays Mill man died Friday afternoon due to a gunshot wound after his 12-year-old son mistook him for someone breaking into the home.

He had been home alone, according to Sheriff Fred S. Clark, and earlier in the day, “something spooked him” causing him to retrieve a .22 caliber rifle.

Later in the day, his parents came home at a different time than when they usually do, and when the son heard someone at the door, he shot down the hallway, said Clark.

It wasn’t until his mother yelled that he realized that it was his parents coming in the door, according to the sheriff.

Sheriff Clark said Halifax County Deputies and Virginia State Police responded to the shooting at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Clays Mill School Road where they discovered the father with a gunshot wound in the hallway at the entrance to the residence.

Deputies and Halifax County Rescue personnel provided first aid to the victim, but he succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

“It’s just a sad situation all the way around, and my prayers go out to the family,” said Clark.

The incident is under investigation, and charges are pending.