14-year-old boy charged in fa­ther’s killing, school shoot­ing

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Kate Brumback and Jay Reeves

AN­DER­SON, S.C.>> A 14-yearold South Carolina boy was charged as a ju­ve­nile Fri­day with mur­der and three counts of at­tempted mur­der af­ter au­thor­i­ties say he killed his fa­ther and opened fire on stu­dents at a school play­ground, wound­ing three peo­ple.

The boy did not show any emo­tion as he walked into the court­room wear­ing a yel­low jump­suit. He was un­re­strained, not wear­ing hand­cuffs or leg shack­les, as re­quired by state law in most ju­ve­nile cases.

As the hear­ing un­folded, one of the wounded stu­dents, 6-year-old Jacob Hall, was on life sup­port and fight­ing for his life at a hospi­tal about 30 miles away. His fam­ily said they were pray­ing for a mir­a­cle.

In­side the court­room, the boy’s lawyer, Frank Epps, noted that the teen has given a state­ment to law en­force­ment and asked that in­ves­ti­ga­tors not ques­tion him again with­out his lawyer present. The judge agreed to that, and or­dered the teen to be held in jail.

The boy’s mother sat on the front row dur­ing the brief hear­ing and left the court­room sob­bing and lean­ing on an­other woman.

The As­so­ci­ated Press typ­i­cally does not iden­tify ju­ve­niles charged with crimes.

Au­thor­i­ties say the teen shot his 47-year-old fa­ther Jef­frey Os­borne at their home on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon be­fore driv­ing a pickup truck 3 miles down a coun­try road to Townville El­e­men­tary. The teen — who is not old enough to have a driver’s li­cense — had to make only two turns to ar­rive at the red brick school, where he crashed the truck, got out and started fir­ing dur­ing re­cess.

Bul­lets struck two stu­dents and a first-grade teacher. The build­ing was im­me­di­ately placed on lock down.

Au­thor­i­ties have not re­leased a mo­tive for the killing or the school shoot­ing. They have said the boy was be­ing home­schooled, but have not ex­plained why.

Prose­cu­tors haven’t given any in­di­ca­tion about whether they will ask to try the teen as an adult. When ju­ve­niles ac­cused of vi­o­lent crimes are 14 or 15, a pros­e­cu­tor has 30 days to ask a fam­ily court judge to try the teen as an adult. If de­nied, the pros­e­cu­tor can ap­peal to the cir­cuit court, which can or­der the trans­fer. Six­teen-year-olds ac­cused of mur­der are au­to­mat­i­cally tried as an adult in South Carolina.

An­der­son 4 Su­per­in­ten­dent Joanne Avery said staff saved lives by flaw­lessly im­ple­ment­ing ac­tive-shooter train­ing drills con­ducted with stu­dents at Townville El­e­men­tary, most re­cently as last week.

A teacher, though shot in the shoul­der, “was withit enough” to close the door, lock it and bar­ri­cade the stu­dents, Avery said.

“If he’d got­ten in the school, it would’ve been a dif­fer­ent sce­nario,” she said.

The shooter then fired to­ward stu­dents on the play­ground but missed. A teacher who heard the first gun­shot was able to get those stu­dents safely in­side, Avery said.

The teacher who was shot and an­other stu­dent who was hit in the foot were treated and re­leased from a hospi­tal, of­fi­cials said.

Rel­a­tives of Jacob is­sued a state­ment late Thurs­day say­ing the boy sus­tained a ma­jor brain in­jury due to the amount of blood he lost af­ter be­ing shot in the leg.

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