A 12-year-old child died after a shooting at Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville Thursday afternoon, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed.
The student was shot at least once in the 700 wing of the school by another 12-year-old student who has been arrested, according to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office by 6 p.m.
The student, now in custody, left the school after the shots were fired and was located in a home in the 3000 block of Easley Bridge Road, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He is being charged with murder, possession of weapon during a violent crime, possession of a firearm on school property and unlawful possession of a weapon by a person under 18.
The student is being taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia, the Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office said the two students knew each other but a motive is still under investigation.
Further information about the victim will be released by the Greenville County Coroner’s Office on Friday.
Law enforcement responded to the school at 12:30 p.m. Thursday after a school resource officer requested emergency backup after a student was shot, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
What we know:Shooting at Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville
About Tanglewood Middle:Here’s a look at the students who attend Tanglewood Middle School on Greenville’s westside
An estimated 100 deputies and officers from numerous law enforcement agencies responded to the scene, including the State Law Enforcement Division, Sheriff Hobart Lewis said.
Tanglewood parent Amanda Hall said she got a text from her daughter, an 8th grade student at the school, around 12:30 p.m. The student told her there was a “code blue” incident, Hall said.
When Hall called her daughter shortly after, she told Hall she heard a gunshot while she was changing classes. Students were told by teachers to take shelter under the desks and speak quietly, Hall said.
4:45 p.m. |Gov. McMaster addresses the Tanglewood shooting on Twitter
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted in response to news of the Tanglewood Middle School shooting, saying he was “grateful” to the officers and agents who responded quickly to the tragedy and asking for prayers.
Tanglewood Middle students taken from school to church
Students were transported to Brookwood Church in Simpsonville after the incident to be reunited with their family, according to Greenville County Schools spokesperson Tim Waller. Buses lined up outside of the school at 1:20 p.m. to transport students a few buses at a time.
Hundreds of parents were gathered at Brookwood waiting for their children. Each parent was asked to fill out a form with information about their student and provide their identification. Only one parent or guardian was allowed inside the church to pick up their child.
At the school Thursday afternoon, Paula Sue Jones said she had no transportation to the church to pick up her grandchildren who are students at the school.
“We thought it was one of my grandkids that had been shot,” said Jones, who has one grandchild in sixth grade and one in eighth grade. “We hadn’t been called or notified or anything, and we don’t have no way to pick them up.”
The Greenville News has reached out to the school district to ask about options for parents with no transportation.
‘My worst nightmare’: Parents react to shooting at Greenville school
“This is my worst nightmare; I think about this all the time,” said Adrienne Freeman, whose daughter is in seventh grade at the school.
Freeman said her daughter was safe.
Greenville resident Craig Sullivan lives around the corner from the school.
“This type of stuff doesn’t happen in Greenville — never has it happened in a school,” he said. “I went to this school back in the 70s. Tanglewood is Tanglewood. We’re a close people.”
Marcus Keller said he was “terrified” when he heard there was a shooting at his 11-year-old daughter’s school.
“That’s big,” he said. “You send your kids to school to learn and be protected. The school district needs to do more to protect the kids.”
Tanglewood parent Dominick Robinson said he and his wife, Jamie, found out about the shooting when the school district called his mother and sister. The couple works third shift, so both were sleeping when his mother came by to tell him the news.
“We jumped up immediately,” Robinson said.
Robinson said his son, who is in sixth grade, caught a ride home with a friend while his wife waited inside Brookwood to be reunited with their daughter, who is in seventh grade.
Prakunj Patel, who owns and operates the Speedy Mart Food Store located near the school, had a case of water outside his business for officers and community members following the shooting. He said students come by the store daily.
“They buy their candy, snacks. I get to meet their parents. They’re good kids,” Patel said. “We’re here for them. It’s sad what happened today. It’s heartbreaking.”