MIAMI: A teenage gunman, who injured three people at a South Carolina elementary school before being arrested, carried out the attack after killing his father, local officials said Wednesday.
The teen, whom the authorities did not identify, shot two boys — one in the leg, the other in the foot — as well as a teacher in the shoulder at Townville Elementary in the west of the southeastern US state, area officials told reporters.
The attack with a handgun, carried out mid-afternoon, appeared to have occurred on the playground, they said.
“The investigation is in initial stages… it’s going to be a very slow, methodical and meticulous investiga-tion,” Captain Garland Major of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said.
An active homicide investigation is underway into the death of Jeffrey DeWitt Osborne, 47, the father of the alleged shooter who lives around three kilometers from the school, the Anderson County coro-ner’s office said.
The teenage assailant was arrested without incident and has no apparent racial motivation or connec-tions to terrorism, Major told reporters, adding that it was still unclear whether he suffers from mental illness.
The suspect is home-schooled; he does not attend any school in the Anderson County School District, police said.
One of the injured students was airlifted to a local hospital and was undergoing surgery late Wednes-day, local media reported, while an ambulance took the other boy and teacher for medical treatment.
One of the boys has since been released from hospital, officials said.
The school has almost 300 students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, local media reported. Classes were cancelled for the rest of the week.
School shootings have become a disturbing reality of American life and many facilities have reinforced security in recent years, especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, when 26 people — including 20 young children — were killed in Newtown, Connecticut.