Po­lice: Teen killed fa­ther be­fore shoot­ing at school

2 el­e­men­tary stu­dents, teacher in­jured in S.C.

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Johnny Clark

TOWNVILLE, S.C. — A teenager killed his fa­ther at their home Wednes­day be­fore go­ing to a nearby el­e­men­tary school and open­ing fire with a hand­gun, wound­ing two stu­dents and a teacher, au­thor­i­ties said.

The teen was ap­pre­hended within min­utes of the school shoot­ing in this ru­ral town about 110 miles north­east of At­lanta. One of the stu­dents was shot in the leg and the other in the foot, Capt. Gar­land Ma­jor with the An­der­son County Sher­iff’s Of­fice said. Both stu- dents were male. The fe­male teacher was hit in the shoul­der.

Be­fore the shoot­ing at Townville El­e­men­tary about 1:45 p.m., the teen gunned down his 47-year-old fa­ther at their home about 2 miles from the school, au­thor­i­ties said.

Au­thor­i­ties said the grand­par­ents of the sus­pect found their son dead af­ter re­ceiv­ing a call from the teen.

An­der­son County Coro­ner Greg Shore said the teenager called his grand­mother’s cell­phone at 1:44 p.m. Wednes­day, but he was so up­set, she couldn’t un­der­stand him. The grand­par­ents then went to his home 100 yards away. When they got there, they found their son shot and their Townville El­e­men­tary stu­dents are taken to a church to be re­united with their par­ents af­ter Wednes­day’s shoot­ing that left one dead. A teenage sus­pect is in cus­tody. grand­son ab­sent.

“We are heart­bro­ken about this sense­less act of vi­o­lence,” said Joanne Avery, su­per­in­ten­dent of An­der­son County School Dis­trict 4. She can­celed classes for the rest of the week.

Au­thor­i­ties did not re­lease a mo­tive for the shoot­ing. They said they weren’t sure if the stu­dents and teacher were tar­geted.

Asked about the teen’s re­la­tion­ship to the stu­dents, Ma­jor said “I know they all go to school to­gether.” He later said the teen was be­ing home-schooled but didn’t clar­ify his ear­lier re­mark.

Au­thor­i­ties said they be­lieve there was only one shooter and that all other stu­dents at Townville El­e­men­tary were safe. The stu­dents were bused to a nearby church and re­united with their par­ents.

The school has about 300 stu­dents in its pre-kinder­garten to sixth-grade class­rooms. It is in a very ru­ral part of the state and sur­rounded by farms.

“This is the coun­try,” Brandi Pierce, the mother of a sixth-grader, said as she be­gan to cry. “You don’t have this in the coun­try. It just don’t ex­ist out here.”

Jamie Mered­ith, a stu­dent’s mother, said some of the chil­dren went into a bath­room dur­ing the shoot­ing.

“I don’t know how they knew to go in the bath­room, but I know her teacher was shaken up. I know all the kids were scared. There was a bunch of kids cry­ing. She didn’t talk for about 5 min­utes when I got her,” she told WYFF Chan­nel 4.

Tele­vi­sion i mages showed of­fi­cers swarm­ing the school af­ter the re­port of an ac­tive shooter. Some were on top of the roof while oth­ers were walk­ing around the build­ing. Stu­dents were driven away on buses ac­com­pa­nied by po­lice of­fi­cers.

KATIE MCLEAN/THE (S.C.) IN­DE­PEN­DENT-MAIL

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