Home / National News / 'Child Down': 911 Calls From Fatal South Carolina School Shooting


(NEW YORK) —  When a teenage gunman allegedly opened fire outside an elementary school in South Carolina last month, a horrifying scene unfolded, detailed in newly released 911 calls.

Even as the suspect remained on school grounds outside, walking around, staff at South Carolina’s Townville Elementary worked furiously to help first-grader Jacob Hall, who later died, as they waited for emergency personnel and police to arrive.

On the tapes, a caller can be heard telling an Anderson County dispatcher that a little boy has been shot in the leg and is “bleeding horribly.” The caller says staff is using a defibrillator on the child.

“We need an ambulance. … We have somebody with a wrap holding his leg from bleeding. … He’s going in and out of consciousness,” the caller says. “We need EMS badly. … Someone is doing CPR right now.”

The caller says a different child has also been injured as well as a staffer.

“We have another first-grade child who has been hit in the foot. … He’s breathing,” she says. “The teacher does have a wound on her. She keeps saying she’s OK.”

On Sept. 28, around 1:45 p.m., just before the end of classes at Townville Elementary School, police say a 14-year-old boy armed with a handgun appeared at a playground behind the school and started shooting at teachers and children as they were at recess.

Jacob, a kindergarten student, was shot in the leg, officials said. Another boy was shot in the foot and a teacher was shot in the shoulder.

Jacob died Oct. 1 after being on life support at Greenville Memorial Hospital. His family said in a statement that because of the amount of blood he’d lost, he’d suffered a major brain injury.

“We have an active shooter,” a different woman says in another 911 call. “We have a child down.”

The caller, who appears to be on an upper level of the school and says that the injured child is downstairs in a hallway, says the shooter had never entered the school building. She describes the shooter as having blonde hair and wearing a black hat and a black shirt.

“He said, ‘I give up. I give up,'” the caller says. “We weren’t outside but we’re thinking it happened on the playground. … The shooter never came in the building but we just heard gunshots. They ran all the kids in and the shooter was out there behind them. … Please hurry.”

A volunteer firefighter who arrived minutes after the 911 calls were placed tackled the teen to the ground. The suspected teen gunman was taken into custody at the school, officials said. About two miles from the school, police said they found the alleged shooter’s father, 46-year-old Jeffrey Osbourne, shot dead in the family’s home.

The 14-year-old suspect initially was charged with one count of murder in the death of his father and three counts of attempted murder.

On Oct. 3, the Solicitor’s Office announced that it had filed a motion to try the teenager as an adult for two charges of murder, three charges of attempted murder — after it identified another child victim — and five charges of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

A judge in Townville agreed to detain the teen pending his trial, saying there was enough evidence in the case to hold him. He has not yet entered a plea.

The boy’s attorney released a statement on behalf of his family, in which they said they are in “mourning” for both their loss and for the “injuries to others.”

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