Fire Chief Billy McAdams (pictured) and volunteer firefighter Jamie Brock, who took down the shooter and has not made a public appearance since, were the first ones on the scene after the shooting. (Photo: NBC)
The Anderson County sheriff revealed Monday that, despite previous reports stating otherwise, the volunteer firefighter who took down a teen shooter at a South Carolina school last week was armed with a handgun when he did so.
Fire Chief Billy McAdams and Jamie Brock, who has been a firefighter for three decades, were at the fire station in close proximity to Townville Elementary School when the first 911 calls came in. They were the first two on the scene, and decided to split up when they arrived at the school. McAdams, who is also a paramedic, went inside the school to tend to the wounded victims, while Brock volunteered to engage the shooter, who was later identified as 14-year-old Jesse Osborne. The teen was apprehended without further incident.
Brock has not spoken publicly since the shooting, but McAdams, who has since talked with the press, never mentioned a gun, according to local media. However, it’s unknown if Brock’s handgun was ever unholstered or whether Osborne or McAdams even knew at the time that Brock was armed.
Regardless, Brock is being hailed a hero for the part he played in apprehending the suspect and for likely saving lives, but he passed the torch on to others in a statement.
“The true heroes of (the) senseless tragedy are the teachers that put their lives on the line to protect their students, the principal who through fears of her own did what’s right to ensure the safety of the school,” Brock said. “They deserve to be called heroes, and to them I tip my hat.”
Osborne opened fire on the playground as students and staff exited the school for recess. As soon as shots were fired, school staff quickly rounded the kids back into the building.
However, two children and a first-grade teacher were struck by gunfire. The teacher and one of the students were treated and released the same day as the shooting, but 6-year-old Jacob Hall, whose femoral artery was ripped open by one of the bullets, succumbed to his injuries and died over the weekend.
During the investigation, authorities also discovered Osborne’s father, Jefferey, had been fatally shot in their home. Osborne is accused of killing his father before making his way to the school. According to witnesses, the teen repeatedly yelled that he hated his life as he opened fire at the school.
Initial reports noted that Osborne was homeschooled, but further investigation revealed this wasn’t simply an educational choice made by his parents. In fact, Osborne was expelled from school last year after he brought a machete and a hatchet to school following relentless bullying. However, Osborne did not attend the school where the shooting took place and police have not made a connection between Osborne and Townville Elementary.
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