TOWNVILLE, S.C. – A firefighter is being credited with stopping a teen who allegedly shot two children and a teacher at a South Carolina elementary school Wednesday.
The unarmed, volunteer firefighter held the suspect at Townville Elementary School until deputies showed up, said Taylor Jones, Anderson County Emergency Services’ deputy director. The firefighter, who hasn’t been named publicly, is said to have 33 years of service, according to KWCH.
The suspected shooter, a teenager, is in custody, deputy chief Taylor Jones said.
The incident occurred just before 2 p.m. at the school’s playground, officials said. The three victims wounded in a shooting Wednesday afternoon were struck by bullets from a handgun, Capt. Garland Major of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina said. One student was hit in a leg and another was struck in a foot. The teacher was wounded in a shoulder, Major said.
A man who is related to the suspected shooter at a South Carolina elementary school was found dead Wednesday afternoon of a gunshot wound, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore told reporters.
It is unclear whether the alleged shooter knew any of the school victims. Major said the motive is unclear but terrorism has been ruled out.
The teacher and one student taken to AnMed Health Center are in good condition, hospital spokesman Ross Norton told CNN.
The other child was taken to Greenville Health System emergency trauma center by helicopter, spokeswoman Sandy Dees said. That student’s condition was not known.
The mother of a student at Townville Elementary School told WYFF that her daughter and classmates huddled in a bathroom.
“Her teacher was shaken up. I know all the kids were scared. There was a bunch of kids crying,” the unidentified woman said. “She didn’t talk for about five minutes when I got her. … I’m just so scared. I don’t even want her to go to school now.”
The mother said she was praying for the families of the injured.
Townville is in the extreme western part of the state, southwest of Greenville. Anderson County has a population of about 194,692. The elementary school has about 280 students. About 30 school employees are listed on the school’s website. School picture day is scheduled for Friday.