GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Parents and members of the community said they still had many questions on Friday regarding the moments leading up to the deadly shooting at Tanglewood Middle School.
A day after the tragic event, the impact of the shooting continued to sink in.
Investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said a 12-year-old student shot and killed a fellow classmate inside the school.
“The shooting occurred and the student immediately left the school. We found him sometime later,” said Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis.
According to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect was found a short time later hiding underneath a deck of a home nearby the school. That’s where deputies said they took him into custody and recovered the gun.
Now, that 12-year-old is behind bars.
“I am not sure even after a full law enforcement investigation that anyone will really know what was really going through the mind of that young person that took this rash act,” said Dr. Burke Royster, Greenville County Schools Superintendent.
According to deputies, the juvenile suspect faces a murder charge. It is yet to be determined if he will be tried as an adult.
A Greenville County lawyer told 7NEWS on Friday that the state of South Carolina has specific rules for people 12 years of age and under.
“Each state is different because each state have different DJJ juvenile justice codes that talk about who is an adult and who isn’t. There is a threshold [in South Carolina] that says that 12 years and younger is normally not prosecuted as an adult,” said John Reckenbeil, a lawyer in Greenville, S.C.
During an interview on Friday, we asked Reckenbeil to describe the legal process.
“There will be a DJJ hearing where they will ultimately do an evaluation of the child. That child will then be basically be put on trial where the judge and the prosecutor gets to decide if, in fact, that child has the mental intent of an adult,” he said.
According to Reckenbeil, it’s a process that could take between four and five months. He said because the suspect is a minor, it is likely there will be very few details shared as the case proceeds through the judicial system.
“Everything that is prosecuted in a juvenile court is confidential. We only learn about it if the fact that that case is elevated to the regular trial court or general sessions court. So, we wouldn’t know what would happen in that process if it’s not elevated,” said Reckenbeil.
According to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect is being held at the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia, S.C.