Teen suspect in deadly South Carolina school shooting could be tried as adult

Townville Elementary School Shooting, Anderson, S.C. (AP Photo, Rainier Ehrhardt).JPG
Townville Elementary School Shooting, Anderson, S.C. (AP Photo, Rainier Ehrhardt)

A South Carolina judge began considering Monday whether or not a teenager will be tried as an adult in the killing of his father and a 6-year-old child outside a school.

The teenager was 14 in September 2016, when authorities say he fatally shot his 47-year-old father at their home, then drove his father's pickup to Townville Elementary School in Anderson County.

Officials say the boy rammed the truck into a playground fence while first graders were at recess, and then fired several shots, killing one student, and wounding another student and a teacher.

Witnesses said the teen screamed "I hate my life" as he fired the gun. He's charged with two counts of murder.

The state Supreme Court banned life sentences for juveniles charged with murder in adult court. Several teenagers convicted of murder have received 30- to 40-year sentences.

Security at a South Carolina courthouse is tight. Family Court Judge Edgar Long is restricting who enters the courtroom at the request of the defense, who says the teen gets anxious with too many strangers around.

The first police officer to arrive at the scene of the shooting testified Monday that a firefighter arrived before him, and was holding the teenage suspect on the ground.

Anderson County deputy Justin Brown said that he decided to go inside Townville Elementary School to look for a possible second shooter. Brown said he found a scene of chaos inside the school.

Brown says the teenager was crying and apologizing when he was arrested.

The hearing is expected to last most of this week.