The teen who shot and killed an elementary school student and wounded a teacher and another student on the playground stood about 5 feet behind children being rushed back inside and didn’t fire again, a teacher told a 911 operator in calls released Tuesday. The shooter, dressed in all black, then dropped a vest and some bullets, went to his knees and said “I give up” several times as teachers closed and locked the door at Townville Elementary School on Sept. 28, according to the emergency calls.
The shooter, a 14-year-old boy, has been charged with murder in the death of 6-year-old Jacob Hall, who bled to death, and with killing his father, found dead in the family’s home a few miles away. He is charged as a juvenile because of his age, but prosecutors plan to ask a judge to let them try the teen as an adult. Several different unidentified voices are heard on the two emergency calls, which were obtained by The Anderson Independent-Mail.
“I couldn’t see his face. I just knew he looked young,” one woman said.
“He was crying. He was very upset,” said a second voice.
Operators asked on both calls asked if anyone knew the shooter. They did not. One woman said she heard the initial shots but didn’t see the gunman until she was helping other people get the children back in the school.
“I was five feet away trying to get the kids in the building,” the caller said. “He was standing right at the door. He didn’t come in. When she was trying to get all the children in, he was standing right behind the kids and he just threw his arms up and he was saying, he gave up, he gave up.”
Some adults in the locked building said they could periodically see the shooter walking around outside the building for several minutes after the 911 call was made. Two nearby volunteer fire fighters were the first help to get to the school. One captured the gunman while the other went inside to help the critically wounded student.
In another call, a woman who is with Jacob tells the operator he is “bleeding horribly” and they need an ambulance. Later in the call she said someone has started CPR and a voice in the background can be heard saying “press, press, press” over and over again.