Chief talks about school shoot­ing

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - NATION -

When two vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers rolled up to an ele­men­tary school shoot­ing, they said they found only a wrecked black pickup truck at the play­ground. There was no gun­man, and no one in­side the truck.

Within min­utes, though, they per­formed ac­tions that led to them be­ing hailed as heroes through­out their tightknit South Carolina home­town: One went in­side to help treat the wounded and the other searched for the shooter.

“This was more than just an­other call to us. This in­ci­dent oc­curred in the school where our chil­dren and the chil­dren of the com­mu­nity at­tend,” Townville Fire Chief Billy McA­dams said Thurs­day dur­ing a news con­fer­ence, paus­ing to col­lect him­self as he re­called the har­row­ing events of the day be­fore.

Au­thor­i­ties say the teen shot his fa­ther at their home be­fore driv­ing the pickup 3 miles down a coun­try road lined with chicken houses and pine trees to Townville Ele­men­tary School. He only had to make two turns to ar­rive at the red brick school, where he crashed the truck, got out and fired at a door as it was be­ing opened for re­cess, au­thor­i­ties said.

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

One of the wounded, 6-year-old Ja­cob Hall, re­mained in critical con­di­tion Thurs­day and was said to be fight­ing for his life. A sign out­side a diner con­veyed the sen­ti­ments of an en­tire com­mu­nity: “Pray for Ja­cob. Pray for Townville.”

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

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