Juvenile in custody after three college students shot outdoors Orangeburg-Wilkinson Excessive Faculty
ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) – A youth is on remand after a shooting outside Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School that injured three students while being released that afternoon on Wednesday. The school reported that the shot students were in stable condition.
The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office and Orangeburg County School District held a press conference Thursday afternoon and released additional information on the case, including a clarification of the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School officials initially said the incident resulted from a shooting, but Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said further investigation revealed it was an “isolated incident” in a parking lot behind the school campus.
Investigators reported that the suspect is 14 years old and was arrested on campus. He has deliberately faced three types of assault and assault.
Ravenell said he spoke with the law firm to see if the teen should be tried as an adult in the case and said it was not clear at the time whether the suspect was a student at the school.
The sheriff paid tribute to the school staff for their actions during the incident, saying he believes they saved lives and helped minimize injuries at the school.
“I think it could have been a really critical incident, and even the shooting of a student is critical, but it could have been worse,” said Ravenell.
The sheriff also addressed parents’ frustration with picking up their children after the shooting, saying that authorities should be accountable for every student.
“Everyone was safe in different areas, and each of these students had law enforcement agencies stationed throughout the building so that we had enough time to document each student and bring them to their parents, and we did,” he said.
Ravenell said there are active programs in the county to protect children from shootings like Wednesday’s, but he said every time something like this happens the community blames him.
“But you know, every time something like this happens, everyone wants to point a finger at Ravenell. This is a community problem. It’s not a Ravenell problem, ”said the sheriff. “This is a community problem and until we get that concept and really understand that we have to do something before things happen and blame law enforcement or school officials, we will continue to have these problems.”
According to the school, law enforcement helped evacuate the school, transporting students to the nearby technology center on Magnolia Street, where parents and guardians would pick up their students. The school will be closed to students for the remainder of the week, including all after-school activities and exercise.
Superintendent Shawn Foster said the shooting was an “unfortunate situation” and thanked the school staff who had brought the students to safety during the incident.
Constance Alston said she first found out about the shooting when she received a call from her daughter who said there were shooters on campus.
“There are no words to describe when she told me this,” said Alston. “I literally went numb because I didn’t know what to do.”
Alston was outside school with other parents waiting to have their child on Wednesday night.
“As a parent, that’s the worst thing you can ever feel,” she said. “As parents who are not there to comfort their child or tell them, ‘Everything will be fine’ after seeing pictures of what happened.”
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