Townville Elementary School shooting
|Townville Elementary School shooting|
|Location||Townville, South Carolina, U.S.|
|Date||September 28, 2016 |
c. 1:44 p.m. – c. 2:00 p.m. EST (UTC-05:00)
|School shooting, spree shooting, patricide|
|Deaths||2 (1 at the school; 1 at suspect's home)|
The Townville Elementary School shooting occurred on September 28, 2016, in Townville, South Carolina, located 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Greenville. Fourteen-year-old Jesse Osborne shot three students and a teacher, critically wounding six-year-old student Jacob Hall, who died from his injuries three days later. Osborne, who also shot and killed his father before the shooting, was arrested as the sole suspect and charged with murder and attempted murder.
The shooting started before 1:45 p.m., when Osborne drove into a fence of Townville Elementary School in a black pickup truck, got out of the vehicle and began firing into the air near the school's playground with a .40-caliber pistol, repeatedly shouting, "I hate my life." He then jumped the fence and began firing at students. Police received a 9-1-1 call on the shooting at 1:44 p.m. At around 2:00 p.m., the suspect was apprehended by a volunteer firefighter after his gun jammed on the playground, just 12 seconds after he first pulled the trigger. According to Osborne during his interview with the police, he threw his gun and his vest away after realizing he was “going to hell” and called his paternal grandparents in tears to confess what he had done.  A body, later identified as the suspect's father, was later discovered at the family home by the Osborne's grandmother. The "unintelligible" call from her grandson prompted her to go to the home to investigate.
One student was shot in the foot and a female teacher was shot in the shoulder; both were treated at AnMed Health and released the following evening. Another student suffered a superficial wound that did not require medical treatment. A third student, six-year-old Jacob Hall, suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, which led to massive blood loss and then cardiac arrest. He was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital and underwent surgery. Hall died on October 1, three days after having been shot. A funeral for Hall was held on October 5.
Jesse Osborne, (born September 1, 2002) — fourteen years old at the time of the shooting — was identified as the suspected gunman. He had attended Townville Elementary School through fifth grade and was known to be sociable and someone who did well in classes. At the time of the shooting, he was being homeschooled after being expelled from middle school for bringing in a hatchet and a machete earlier in the year of the shooting. On February 16, 2018, Judge Edgar Kelly Long made the decision to waive Osborne, 15 years old at the time, out of Family Court and up to General Sessions Court where he will be tried as an adult. Osborne was charged with two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and five counts of possessing a weapon. By U.S. federal statues, Osborne could face up to life in prison.
On September 7, 2018, Osborne pled not guilty on all counts before a South Carolina Supreme Court Judge. His attorney, however, publicly hinted at the possibility of a plea deal. Several witnesses were called forward over the following two months, including an investigator who testified that Osborne had been influenced by an online chat-group of people “obsessed” with mass shootings, some of whom encouraging Osborne to commit one. Prior testimony from the investigator revealed that Osborne had been planning an attack for months through his internet searches, constituting premeditation.
On December 12, 2018, Osborne pled guilty to the five counts of murder and attempted murder, waiving his right to a jury trial. His attorney stated that it was in his client’s best interest that he plead guilty rather than go through a trial. Sentencing was postponed to a later date to allow Judge R. Lawton McIntosh to appropriately decide Osborne’s fate, given that he was set to serve a minimum of thirty years and a maximum of life without parole. Jacob Hall’s father was in the court gallery during Osborne’s guilty plea, as was Osborne's aunt. Jacob's mother did not attend the hearing, as she was incarcerated following her drug arrest less than a month before the plea.
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- Cox, John Woodrow (9 June 2017). "Twelve seconds of gunfire". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
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- Woodrow, John (March 4, 2018). "Inside the mind of the Townville, South Carolina teen school shooter". Retrieved May 18, 2019.
- Mayo, Nikie (February 16, 2018). "Jesse Osborne, 15, accused of Townsville school shooting, will be tried as an adult". Retrieved March 31, 2018.
- https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/12/12/jesse-osborne-pleads-guilty-south-carolina-school-shooting/2297747002/%7C Osborne's trial records