A 12-year-old student at a South Carolina middle school has died after another 12-year-old student shot them on Thursday afternoon, officials said. The suspect is in custody.
At around 12:30 p.m. local time, a Tanglewood Middle School resource officer requested emergency backup after a student was shot at least once, the Greenville County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. The incident happened inside the school near the front of the building, Sheriff Hobart Lewis said at a news briefing.
The gunshot victim was taken to the hospital and later died. No other students were injured in the incident, the sheriff's office confirmed.
"My heart breaks for this young boy's family and my prayers are with them tonight," Lewis said in the statement. "Additionally, I will be praying for the other young boy who pulled the trigger and his family. I can not fathom what would cause someone to do this to another human being and especially at that age, but I know it's a situation where we all need to turn to God."
The sheriff's office said the students "were familiar with each other," but did not provide any additional details.
"We don't really know the specifics of why it occurred and why so many young people resort to violence, especially with firearms," Lewis said at the press conference. "Again, tragic situation."
The suspect ran from the school after the shooting, police said. They were apprehended about an hour later after police found them hiding under a deck at a residence, and a handgun was recovered at the scene, police said.
The suspect has been charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, possession of a firearm on school property and unlawful possession of a weapon by a person under the age of 18, officials said. He will be transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.
An estimated 100 deputies were on the scene assessing the situation, according to the sheriff's office.
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