On Wednesday, September 28, a 14-year-old South Carolina boy went to Townville Elementary School and opened fire, wounding two young boys and a teacher before being subdued by a volunteer firefighter until police arrived. One of the boys suffered a wound to his foot while the other sustained a shot to his leg; the teacher was hit in her shoulder. The teacher and the boy who was shot in the foot were released from the hospital after receiving care and are in good condition but Jacob Hall, the boy who was shot in the leg, was listed in critical condition as of Wednesday night according to the Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital where he is being treated. He is 6-years-old. Another shooting occurred, resulting in a fatality, in the moments leading up to the incident. Before heading to the school, the teenager allegedly shot and killed his father at his home two miles away. The suspect, whose name is being withheld because of his age, is now in custody and no motive has been identified, though authorities have stated terrorism has been ruled out. I disagree; any act of this nature, domestic or foreign, is absolutely terrorism. No child, parent, teacher, school administrator, or anyone for that matter, should have to fear for their lives because of the very real possibility of being shot. These days, it seems nowhere is safe anymore. If that isn’t considered terrorism, then what exactly is?
According to Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore, the suspect called his grandparents crying at around 1:44 pm. They said he was inconsolable and they were not able to understand what he was saying so they decided to check on him and his father, whom they live next door to. When they arrived at the house, they found the boy’s father but not the suspect. It was then they realized the man had been shot and killed, with Shore saying, “He did die at the scene from gunshot wounds.” One minute after the phone call to his grandmother, a teacher called 911 to report a shooting, indicating the boy was already at the scene when he spoke to her. The teacher described the shooter as a young white male with blond hair who was dressed in all black clothing. Speaking to the press, Anderson County Sheriff Deputy Chief Keith Smith said, “The shooter is a juvenile, he’s a white male. There’s no racial undertones there. There’s no terrorism involved.”
At this time, no connection to the elementary school of any kind has been identified and it has been reported the teenager was being homeschooled as a result of a suspension he received for bringing a weapon to school, which occurred sometime over the last two years. The school boasts a population of 300 students and said they have practiced active-shooter scenarios numerous times, which is how the administrators were able to prevent the already-horrific from reaching worst-case. It is a sad state of affairs when children as young as five have to be trained on how to respond to situations like this. Thankfully, the school’s staff, with the help of police, were able to safely evacuate the children to a bus and transport them to a nearby church where their panic-stricken parents were able to pick them up. Scott Nadolny, the father of a young girl who attends the school, told the press, “I saw her come out. And I just ran to her…crying. And just gave her a big hug. You know, just thankful.”
As for the 30-year volunteer firefighter Jamie Brock, who was able to apprehend the teenager without incident, he chose not to speak to the press, with officials stating he did what any other firefighter would do and likely does not want any special attention, though he, along with the school’s staff, certainly deserve praise for having potentially saved the lives of countless others.