Investigation continues after shooting at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2021 at 8:52 AM EDT
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ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Sheriff Leroy Ravenell says one person is in custody in connection with the shooting that injured three students outside of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School Wednesday.

Officials say gunshots were fired from a vehicle driving by during afternoon dismissal.

Deputies believe the students who were shot received non life-threatening injuries.

“The three injured students are in stable condition and their families have been contacted directly,” officials with the high school said.

Orangeburg County EMS officials responded to the shooting and transported three people to Regional Medical Center.

The sheriff and the superintendent held a brief press conference Wednesday night.

“This is a fresh investigation that’s still going on,” Ravenell said. “We have an individual in custody involved in this incident.”

Superintendent Shawn Foster said the shooting was an “unfortunate situation,” and thanked school employees who got students to safety during the incident.

“Hats off to the outstanding students of the school and the school administration that have continuously prepared their staff and their students for even the worst situation,” Foster said. “We are extremely thankful for the faculty staff and the students in this community, and will continue to come together and work through the situations to continue to ensure a high quality education for all of our students.”

Constance Alston said she first learned about the shooting when she received a call from her daughter saying there were shooters on campus.

“There is no words to describe when she told me that,” Alston said. “I literally got numb because I didn’t know what to do.”

Alston was outside the school with other parents waiting to go through the process of getting her child Wednesday evening.

“As a parent this is the worst thing you can ever feel,” she said. “As a parent not being there to comfort your child, or not being there to tell them, ‘Everything’s going to be okay,’ after seeing pictures of what happened.”

The school’s superintendent released a statement regarding the situation saying:

“Today our school community experienced the day that we’ve worked hand in hand with law enforcement to prepare for, but have always prayed would never actually happen.

As many are now aware, during afternoon dismissal at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School three students sustained injuries from gunshots fired outside. The injured students are in stable condition at this time. We join their families, teachers, and our entire community in continued prayer for their full recovery.

We appreciate the quick action of school administration, teachers, and staff in moving all students to a safe location inside the school, while law enforcement secured the campus and first responders cared for the victims. Although the investigation is ongoing, law enforcement has apprehended a suspect believed to be responsible.

Families of all students have been updated as quickly as new information has become available, including details regarding the safe reunification for students with their parents and guardians.

We understand how upsetting today’s tragic events have been for all, including those who are staying updated on this situation from afar, but most especially those closest to today’s tragedy.

Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School will be closed to students for the remainder of the week, which includes all after-school activities and athletic practices. Teachers and staff will report to work tomorrow as scheduled.

Throughout the remainder of the week, in-person and remote counseling resources will be made available to Orangeburg-Wilkinson’s students, staff, and families as we recover together and heal from such a tragic afternoon. In-person counseling for teachers and staff will take place at OW. Students and families who would benefit from in-person counseling will be served at the Technology Center, located at 3721 Magnolia Street.

Remote counseling services will also be available. Please visit Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School’s website for the Virtual Counseling information.”

The school will be closed to students for the rest of the week. This includes all after-school activities and athletic practices.

Teachers and staff, however, will report to work tomorrow as scheduled.

School canceled following shooting at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

WIS will work to bring you more information as it is released.

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