A 14-year-old armed with a handgun killed his father as he sat on the couch in their home on Wednesday before he got behind the wheel of a black pickup, pulled onto a rutted dirt road and headed to Townville Elementary about three miles away, according to authorities.
There, as children were led outside for recess, the teenager rammed the truck into a chainlink fence surrounding the playground, stepped out and opened fire, authorities said.
A bullet struck student Jacob Hall in the leg and a second boy was shot in the foot. First-grade teacher Meghan Hollingsworth managed to herd the children to safety inside the building even as she was shot in the shoulder.
Among those heading out to the playground was Katrina Jones’ 6-year-old niece. She said her niece told her that she heard the gunman say, “I hate my life,” moments before the shooting.
The shooter, who authorities said never entered the school, was subdued by the first emergency responder on the scene — an unarmed 30-year veteran of the Townville Volunteer Fire Department named Jamie Brock.
Hall was airlifted to the Pediatric Trauma Center at Greenville Health System where he was listed in critical condition Wednesday night.
Hollingsworth was treated and released from AnMed, as was the student shot in the foot.
By day’s end, Brock and Hollingsworth along with Anderson County emergency responders and others at the school were hailed as heroes whose quick action may have saved countless lives.
And the questions began over what motivated the teen — too young to get a driver’s license — to unleash unspeakable violence on an elementary school playground and kill his father.
Whether the gunman intentionally targeted any of his victims at the school, authorities couldn’t say Wednesday afternoon. Nor could they say whether he had any connection to the three.
But authorities said he did have a connection to his first alleged victim — Jeffery D. Osborne, 47, of 150 Osborne Road, was his father.
Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said the teenager was alone at home with his father when he shot him multiple times in the den. Osborne’s wife was at work at the time, he said.
A neighbor who was sitting on his front porch said the Osbornes had lived there for at least 10 years and kept a chicken farm for most of that time. He said he saw Osborne Wednesday morning and waved. His son, the neighbor said, “seemed like the nicest kid.”
The only odd thing he remembers is hearing gunshots from the farm two nights ago. The neighbor said he thought the shots were for target practice.
“Dunno what makes kids just snap like that,” said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified.
The initial call about 1:45 p.m. came from a teacher at the school reporting that an armed male was on the school grounds and a student had been shot, said Taylor Jones, Anderson County emergency services director.
This Article from the Anderson Independent News