A child shot at a school playground in South Carolina this week is in critical condition and fighting for his life, relatives said.
Jacob Hall, 6, was one of three people hit when a shooter opened fire Wednesday at the playground at Townville Elementary School southwest of Greenville — near the Georgia state line.
By the time the gunfire stopped, two students and a teacher were injured, authorities said.
Deputies detained a teen suspect after a volunteer firefighter took him down. The 14-year-old was not identified because he is a minor.
In a statement, a doctor treating Jacob said he suffered a major brain injury.
“Jacob was shot in the leg. The bullet hit his femoral artery, causing massive blood loss, which led to cardiopulmonary arrest,” Dr. Keith Webb of the Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital said. “He has undergone surgery and a number of procedures to try to stabilize his condition.”
Describing the boy’s battle to survive, the first-grader’s family said, “We are hanging on every second.”
Suspect called grandparents
A minute before the teen allegedly opened fire, he called his grandparents’ cell phone, sobbing and mumbling unintelligibly, authorities said.
His grandparents could barely hear him because of his crying, CNN affiliate WYFF-TV reported. So they headed next door to his house to check on him.
Instead the grandparents found their son — the teen’s father — dead in the home. The suspect’s father, Jeffrey Osborne, 47, suffered fatal gunshot wounds, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said.
The teen allegedly drove a Dodge Ram onto school property and jumped a fence to access the playground, according to CNN affiliate WHNS-TV. It said he never entered the school.
At 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, a teacher called 911 to report the shooting at the playground behind the school.
The teacher and other student injured were released Wednesday evening after being treated at a local health center, hospital officials said.
Jacob’s family remains optimistic.
“As long as his heart’s beating, we’ve got hope,” his great-aunt Rebecca Hunnicutt told WHNS.
“Jacob was one of these kids who you would swear was carved out of cream cheese,” she said. “He is as beautiful on the inside as he is on the out.”