Student accidentally shoots self at South Carolina school

AP News
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Posted: May 13, 2016 4:28 PM

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Two students were facing charges in connection with a shooting at a South Carolina high school, including a teen who was shot when a gun fired accidentally on Friday morning, authorities said.

Greenville County Sheriff's Lt. James Beaver said at a news conference that a 17-year-old student at Southside High School has been charged as an adult with unlawful carrying of a pistol, disturbing schools and carrying weapons on school property.

According to Greenville County School District Superintendent W. Burke Royster, the student was in possession of the gun but did not fire it Friday morning in the school's cafeteria. Officials do not know if he brought the gun to school.

Another student who was shot when the gun went off inside his own backpack will face the same charges as a juvenile when he's released from the hospital after treatment for injuries that were not life-threatening, Beaver said.

Authorities said the shooting was accidental and happened just before 8:30 a.m. Friday. Southside and several nearby schools were placed on lockdown, but students were allowed to come back in after deputies determined they were not looking for an at-large shooter.

The student was conscious and talking when he was picked up by emergency medical personnel, Greenville County School District spokeswoman Beth Brotherton said.

No one else was injured, authorities said.

Each student was searched before being allowed to re-enter Southside and return to class. About two hours after the shooting, the school began releasing students to go home on buses, drive their cars or be picked up by their parents.

According to the superintendent, bringing a gun onto school campus results in a mandatory one-year expulsion.

Southside High School has a deputy on campus. It does not have permanent metal detectors, but can bring in portable scanners if needed, the school district said. For the next several weeks, officials said there would be an "increased law enforcement presence" at Southside High School, and counselors would be available to talk to students about the situation.

"We are relieved that it was not worse," Royster said.