A 12-year-old child died after a shooting at Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina.
This was confirmed by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Greenville News that the child killed was Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson. At least once he was shot at school by another arrested 12-year-old student. A coroner confirmed on Friday that Jamari was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest.
The student who allegedly shot Jamari left the school after the shooting and was found hiding under a deck of a nearby house, the sheriff’s office said. The boy is expected to be charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, possession of a weapon on school property and unlawful possession of a weapon by a person under the age of 18.
The boy is taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia. The students reportedly knew each other, but the sheriff’s office said a motive is still being determined.
A school resource official called for emergency assistance after hearing gunshots at the school around 12:30 p.m., officials said. Authorities later determined that a student had shot and killed another student and that the two knew each other.
About 100 MPs and offices of several law enforcement agencies answered the call.
Students from the school were evacuated after the incident and taken to Brookwood Church in Simpsonville. Hundreds of parents waited in front of the church to pick up their children. Parents were asked to fill out forms with information about their students and identify themselves.
Parents shared their feelings about the incident Greenville News.
“This is my worst nightmare. I think about that all the time,” said Adrienne Freeman, the mother of a seventh grader at the school.
Craig Sullivan, who lives around the corner from the school, said he was shocked by the incident.
“It doesn’t happen in Greenville — it’s never happened in a school,” he said. “I went to this school in the 70s. Tanglewood is Tanglewood. We’re a tight-knit people.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a statement on Twitter in response to the shooting, thanking responding officers and asking for prayers for the families and students involved in the incident.
“My heart breaks for this little boy’s family and my prayers are with them tonight,” Grenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said in a statement. “Also, I will pray for the other boy who pulled the trigger and his family. I can’t imagine what would make anyone want to do this to another human being, especially at that age, but I know it’s a situation we all need to turn to God for.”
He urged parents to speak to their children and encourage them to keep themselves safe and the safety of others.
“Check their belongings and make sure they don’t have anything that could pose a danger to themselves or others. It really takes a whole village and we need everyone’s investment,” he said.