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1 dead, 2 students & teacher injured in shootings at South Carolina elementary school

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A teenager with a handgun opened fire at an elementary school in South Carolina on Wednesday afternoon, not long before authorities say they found his father shot to death in a home nearby. Police said the teenage shooter, who they did not identify, shot two male students and a female teacher at Townville Elementary School, located about 40 miles west of Greenville, S.C., before being quickly taken into custody by authorities. One of the students was shot in the leg and the other in the foot, while the teacher was struck in the shoulder, said Capt. Garland Major of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. All three were taken to hospitals from the scene, he said during a briefing Wednesday. One of the students was reported to be in critical condition.

Major said that the shooter was taken into custody in a matter of minutes and that authorities believe that there are no other suspects involved. He emphasized that authorities were in the early hours of the investigation, saying they were still trying to figure out details about where the shooting occurred. The school has no resource officer, the superintendent said Wednesday, but it has security cameras and an airlock system requiring people to be buzzed in. Major also brought up and dismissed potential motives, saying that authorities did not believe there were any racial factors, noting that the suspected shooter and the three injured people were all white. He also said police did not believe terrorism was a factor.

The burst of violence at locked down Townville Elementary, a school of about 285 students, sending terrified parents hurrying to a local church to pick up their children and causing officials to cancel classes for the rest of the week. The school’s picture day had originally been scheduled for Friday. “We are heartbroken about this senseless act of violence,” Joanne Avery, the school superintendent, said at the briefing. The school district does training to prepare for active attacks, officials said. Authorities say they are still working to determine if any of the people injured at the school were targeted or if any of them were connected to the shooter, but said that they had not found any relationships by Wednesday night.

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