Officials look to find ways to be prepared for school shootings moving forward

Officials look to find ways to be prepared for school shootings moving forward

Two months removed from the school shooting that rocked Anderson County, officials are now looking back at the response to the incident from what went well and how the state can be prepared in case the unthinkable were to happen again.

The incident saw a 14-year-old made his way into Townville Elementary School and fired shots into the playground after allegedly killing his father. One teacher and two students were injured in the shooting. One of those students was 6-year-old Jacob Hall, who did not survive his injuries.

"Even though I've been exposed to that on numerous occasions, it was just overwhelming," said Scott Stoller, Director of Anderson County EMS & Special Operations.

Stoller, who was one of the first responders on the scene, walked into a classroom to find Jacob on his back with firefighters and the school nurse surrounding him. Two tourniquets kept Jacob from bleeding out at the scene. He was later airlifted to a hospital for emergency surgery. He was taken off life support a few days later.

"For it to happen at a very rural school, at a moment's time, was pretty traumatic for all of us," Sheriff John Skipper said.

According to the South Carolina Department of Education, every district in South Carolina has done some sort of active shooter training. Townville Elementary had just done a refresher.

"The way Townville Elementary and Anderson County handled this was textbook," said Sheriff Skipper.

Jacob's family is advocating for having a school resource officer in every school across the state. The proposal is called "Jacob's Law."

"When you have an officer inside the school, it is deterrant," said Lexington Co. Deputy Gregory Carr. "If a person knows there's not an officer inside the school, they're more susceptible to go in and do something because they feel they're not going to get caught."

Currently, school resource officers are funded by the school districts in partnership with local agencies. According to state officials, the state doesn't have the resource to front the cost.

"The last estimate that we have would cost the state about $53 million annually," "and that would be to place just one resource officer in every school."

So if that option is cost prohibitive, what can we do?

"People's live can be saved if the average citizen knows how to administer and tourniquet,"

The small trauma kit costs roughly about $50. The entire safety wall costs $500. Inside of it are combat-grade trauma tools to stop the bleeding.

Anderson County officials said teachers and students, starting at about fifth- or sixth-grade, should have access to a kit at their school and know how to use them.

"Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, AED usage has become typical," said "In South Carolina, we just passed a law within the last 12 months requiring that every senior graduating high school have that training. This, bleeding control or "b-con" as they abbreviate it, is just as important."

Anderson County officials hope, in the aftermath, "b-con" becomes a requirement by law as well.

"What we, as a community, have to do to be Anderson Strong and Townville Strong in this, is we have to keep training," said. "We've got to keep working to find other ways to make our schools safer."