Teen charged with murder in S.C. elementary school shootings


WSPA – ANDERSON, SC (WSPA) – An Anderson County judge has charged a teen with murder and three counts of attempted murder after the Townville shootings on Wednesday.

The suspect is accused of killing his 47-year-old father and shooting two students and a teacher at Townville Elementary in Anderson County.

The suspect went before a judge at 11:00 a.m. Friday at the Anderson County Courthouse.

Due to the suspect being a juvenile, the hearing will be closed to the public.

Solicitor Chrissy Adams is asking for patience as law enforcement and her office work to see "that justice is done." She went on to say that she will not be answering any questions at this time.

Deputy Chief Keith Smith says the shooting happened on the playground behind the school and the shooter never entered the school.

The sheriff says the suspect got out of his vehicle and started firing immediately.

Anderson District 4 Superintendent Joanne Avery said a teen suspect is in custody and there is no longer an active threat.

Deputies say there is no known relationship between the suspect and the victims.

The suspect is home-schooled and is not a student at any school in the Anderson Co. School District.

A family friend says he was expelled from his school last year for bringing a hatchet to school and attacking a child.

Deputies say they were on-scene within seven minutes and the suspect was apprehended on the school grounds before 2:00pm.

The initial apprehension was made by Firefighter Jamie Brock, a 30-year veteran of the Townville Volunteer Fire Department.

They say the staff and students were evacuated within moments.

Townville Elementary does not have a contract School Resource Officer; however, the school is equipped with security cameras and a secured door system, according to deputies.

Two 6-year-old students and one teacher were hurt and taken to hospitals, according to Taylor Jones with Anderson Co. Emergency Services.

One student was shot in leg, another student shot in the foot and the teacher was shot in the shoulder, according to Garland Major with the Anderson Sheriff's Department.

Jacob Hall, 6, is listed in critical condition at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Hall's family released a statement through the hospital:

"We appreciate the community's support, especially the Townville Rescue Squad who treated Jacob onsite and brought him to the hospital," said Rodger and Renae Hall, Jacob's parents. "We appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers and ask for privacy during this difficult time."

The female teacher and a boy were released from AnMed hospital.

Mike Ellis with the Independent Mail is reporting that the teacher who was shot is Meghan Hollingsworth.

The sheriff's office says the teen was armed with a handgun.

Deputies say all victims and the suspect are white and there are no racial overtones associated with the incident.

About the Author: