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Teenage Gunman Hurts Three at South Carolina School

Jon Schuppe
Townville Elementary School in South Carolina
Source: Google Earth

A teenage gunman shot two young students and a teacher at an elementary school in rural South Carolina on Wednesday, and his father was later found shot to death at a home nearby, authorities said.

The suspect, whom officials didn't name, was taken into custody without incident on school grounds shortly after authorities were called to Townville Elementary School at 1:45 p.m. ET by a teacher saying an armed man was on the property, investigators said.

"We feel confident that we have the sole shooter, that no one else is involved and the community is not in danger at this point," said Capt. Garland Major, chief investigator for the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.

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The teacher, a woman, was treated and released from a hospital. The boys, one of whom was shot in the leg and the other of whom was shot in the foot, were in good condition, authorities said.

The school, in Townville in Anderson County, about 35 miles southwest of Greenville, has 280 students from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade, serving a rural community in the western corner of the state.

The attacker, who was armed with a handgun, shot all of his victims on the playground, Deputy Chief Sheriff Keith Smith said. He was subdued by a volunteer firefighter, one of the first rescue workers to arrive at the scene, officials said.

Shortly after the shooting, authorities received a 911 reporting that a man had been shot dead about 2 miles away. The victim there, Jeffrey Dewitt Osborne, 47, turned out to be the school gunman's father, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said.

Authorities didn't say whether Osborne was shot by his son. Any relationship between the shooter and the victims at the school was unclear early Wednesday evening, authorities said.

The school was swarmed with rescue workers and armed officers, some of whom escorted children by bus to a nearby church, where frantic parents met them.

Joanne Avery, superintendent of Anderson School District Four, said that the school has security cameras and that its two entrances are locked.

"He would have to be buzzed in, but I'm not sure how he entered the school," Avery said.