A six-year-old boy who was shot at his elementary school in South Carolina "continues to fight for his life," a local fire chief said on Thursday (29 September). The Townville Elementary School student was shot along with a fellow student and teacher by a 14-year-old gunman, who may have killed his own father prior to the school yard shooting.
Jacob Hall is listed in critical condition at Greenville Health System Children's Hospital in Anderson County, South Carolina, NBC News reported. "Please especially remember to keep little Jacob in your prayers, who continues to fight for his life," Townville Fire Chief Billy McAdams said during a press conference. "He's a hard little fighter and you've got to continue to remember that."
According to NBC News, Jacob's classmate and teacher Meghan Hollingsworth were treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and then released.
The teenage suspect, identified as Jesse Osborne, was subdued by 30-year veteran volunteer firefighter Jamie Brock. Brock arrived with McAdams at the scene around 1.45pm EST/6.45pm BST following reports of an active shooter.
McAdams gave a firsthand account of the shooting to the press on Thursday (29 September), WYFF reported.
"Within a few minutes [of arriving on the scene], I made contact by phone to the front office, confirming the situation and location of the gunman. I was told that the shooter was at the rear of the building and there were children shot near the playground," he said.
The fire chief said that when they found the victims, they were already being treated by the school nurse. The injured teacher reportedly asked them "to take care of Jacob and not worry about her." The young boy was later flown out for treatment with critical injuries.
South Carolina Representative Alan Clemmons wrote on Facebook that Hall was the nephew of two "dear friends" of his, Dave and Sheila Williams. The bullet "ripped through little Jacob's femoral artery" and needed multiple surgeries, Clemmons revealed.
"As Brock made his way to the rear corner of the building, he observed the shooter a short distance away in the grass," McAdams continued. "Feeling it was imperative to the safety of the students, teachers and responders already inside, he immediately confronted and subdued the shooter. He was able to keep him on the ground until law enforcement arrived to place him into custody."
The teen's father, 47-year-old Jeffrey Dewitt Osborne, was found dead in their home following the shooting by his grandmother. Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said Osborne's mother received a phone call from her grandson but "could not make out what he was saying because he was crying and upset."
She discovered her son's body when she went next door to their home. Investigators said the suspect shot and killed his father with a .40-caliber gun. The coroner's office said that Osborne died from multiple gunshot wounds.