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TOWNVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A teenager killed his father at his home Wednesday before going to a nearby elementary school and opening fire with a handgun, wounding two students and a teacher, authorities said.
The teen was apprehended within minutes of the school shooting in this rural town about 110 miles northeast of Atlanta. One of the students was shot in the leg and the other in the foot, Capt. Garland Major with the Anderson County sheriff’s office said. Both students were male. The female teacher was hit in the shoulder.
Before the shooting at Townville Elementary around 1:45 p.m., the teen gunned down his 47-year-old father at their home about 2 miles from the school, authorities said.
“We are heartbroken about this senseless act of violence,” said Joanne Avery, superintendent of Anderson County School District 4. She canceled classes for the rest of the week.
Anderson County emergency services director Taylor Jones said all other students at the Townville Elementary School were safe following the shooting. The students were bused to a nearby church and reunited with their parents. They hugged and kissed one another.
Jamie Meredith, a student’s mother, said some of the children went into a bathroom during the shooting.
“I don’t know how they knew to go in the bathroom, but I know her teacher was shaken up. I know all the kids were scared. There was a bunch of kids crying. She didn’t talk for about 5 minutes when I got her,” she told WYFF.
Television images showed officers swarming the school. Some were on top of the roof while others were walking around the building. Students were driven away on buses accompanied by police officers.
All of the roads to the school were blocked off. The school is in a very rural part of the state and surrounded by working farms.
Gov. Nikki Haley released a statement shortly after the shooting.
“As we work together with law enforcement to make sure they have the support they need to investigate what happened in Townville, Michael and I ask that everyone acrossSouth Carolina join us in praying for the entire Townville Elementary School family and those touched by today’s tragedy.”
Townville Elementary had about 300 students in its pre-kindergarten to sixth-grade classrooms last year, according to its annual state report card last spring.
The rural town is located along Interstate 85 near the Georgia-South Carolina state line.
SARDINIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Kevin McCabe, whose son was killed this past October in a vehicle crash, has been found guilty of manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. A jury acquitted him of other charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
Those verdicts essentially mean the jury says McCabe is to blame for the deadly crash, but jurors did not find him impaired at the time.
“They found the facts that I think were appropriate based upon the record that they had,” said Christopher Belling, the lead prosecutor on this case. “They could have done something different, but I’d have to assess, they did the right thing.”
The Belfast man was driving a pickup truck with his 4-year-old son and niece when they slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer. During the drive, both children were in the front of the truck, not in the back inside child safety seats. McCabe’s son died from his injuries. His niece was severely injured. McCabe was left in a coma for days.
According to authorities, the presence of methamphetamine was found in McCabe’s blood after the crash, but an expert who testified during the trial could not say what kind of methamphetamine it was, nor whether McCabe was impaired by it.
“He couldn’t tell when they tested the methamphetamine if it was the bad meth or if it was cold medicine,” said McCabe’s attorney, Scott Riordan.
McCabe has maintained that what happened was a tragic accident, not a crime. His attorney says he has strong grounds for appeal.
But, before it gets to that, McCabe’s attorney says he’s getting right to work to get the jury’s manslaughter verdict set aside. “If they didn’t find him impaired, there’s no manslaughter charge,” Riordan said, after the verdict was returned.
“There’s never been a case in the history of New York State that you can find someone guilty of manslaughter because a child was not in a child safety seat,” he explained. “I cited cases to the judge before we came here today. And he knows it, I know it, and there’s going to be a motion.”
“I think he’s perhaps overreacting to what he thinks he has. And as I say we’ll deal with it in court when it’s filed,” Belling responded.
When sentenced near the end of October, McCabe could spend an indeterminate sentence of 5-15 years in jail. If McCabe is able to come up with $100,000 bail, his sentencing will be December 16.
McCabe had been free on $10,000 bail until his felony conviction Wednesday.
DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two people were walking along the train tracks near Middle Road when a CSX train heading west hit and killed one of them.
Dunkirk police say it happened just after midnight. They tell us the train’s operator reported the accident. The operator telling officers the victim wasn’t the only one walking along the tracks. Police say they’re not investigating this as a homicide.
“It’s likely an accident,” said Lt. Mark Polowy, Dunkirk Police Department.
Police say they are looking for that second person though, hoping they’ll be able to come forward with information putting together the pieces as to what happened in those final moments before the fatal accident.
The train involved, a CSX freight train, was traveling from Syracuse to Columbus, Ohio.
The company’s spokesman released a statement to News 4 saying in part:
“Freight trains are surprisingly quiet and, especially at night, it is very difficult to judge the speed at which they are moving and the distance between the locomotive and a pedestrian. “
CSX echoes what police have been saying – that this serves as a sad reminder about how dangerous it can be to walk along the tracks.
“People don’t belong on the railroad tracks and on the railroad way,” said the Lieutenant.
The victim’s name has not been released because family members have not yet been notified.
Middle Road was closed for about 5 hours during the police investigation, and has been reopened.
Police are asking the other person to come forward to talk to investigators. To contact police call (716) 366-2266.
A very slow moving disturbance from the Midwest to the Ohio Valley will remain rather stationary the rest of this week, keeping our weather more unsettled the rest of this week. A persistent stream of moisture from the SE will start to spread spotty rain showers into the area Wednesday night. Scattered showers will stick around on a breezy Thursday, still with periods of rain-free time. This trend will continue Friday, Saturday, and into Sunday. Since the moisture works through the region in waves, there will continue to be be some dry moments.
Temperatures will be near seasonable for most of the week if not a little above normal this weekend. An isolated shower still can’t be ruled out Monday, but as another weather system finally kicks this stationary storm out of the region, things will get even better toward Tuesday and midweek next week with rebounding temperatures.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clouds Increase and Thicken, A few Showers Develop from south to north, Low: 52-58, Wind: E 7-14.
THURSDAY: Cloudy, breezy with Scattered Rain Showers, High: 60-68, Wind: E 10-20, Gusts to 30. Scattered showers continue at night, Low: 55.
FRIDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Scattered Showers Likely, High: 68, Low: 56.
SATURDAY: Mostly Cloudy, On and Off Showers, High: 70, Low: 59.
SUNDAY: Partly Sunny, More Scattered Showers, especially during the afternoon/evening, High: 71, Low: 55.
MONDAY: Partly Cloudy, Chance of a Shower early, High: 70, Low: 54.
TUESDAY: Mostly Sunny, High: 72, Low: 55.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly Sunny, High: 73.
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local Congressman is proposing much stricter penalties for some drug dealers who sell heroin connected to fatal overdoses — life in prison, or death.
Rep. Tom Reed, who has offices in Jamestown and Olean, has introduced a bill call the HELP Act. HELP is an acronym for Help Ensure Lives are Protected.
“We care about the families of every overdose victim in our community and the addicts that are struggling,” Reed said. “We’ve held several roundtable discussions and heard directly from the parents who have lost children to opioids and heroin. It’s only right that we hold those responsible for harming our loved ones accountable.”
The move by Reed comes during western New York’s opioid crisis, which is related to heroin and synthetic drugs like fentanyl.
Fentanyl, which is 100 times as powerful as morphine, has been combined with heroin in many instances, creating an even deadlier product. Some heroin dealers do not even tell their customers that fentanyl was combined with their heroin.
Between 2013 and 2014, the death rate for synthetic opioid use went up 80 percent.
If enacted into law, the HELP Act would give federal prosecutors expanded access to the severe penalties for dealers.
“This is about justice for the victims and their families and giving our law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to stop the flow of these lethal substances into our communities,” Reed said.