WATCH: Firefighter, chief release statements after school shooti - FOX Carolina 21

WATCH: Firefighter, chief release statements after school shooting

Posted: Updated:
Jamie Brock (Source: Townville FD) Jamie Brock (Source: Townville FD)
Townville fire chief Billy McAdams (Sep. 29, 2016/FOX Carolina) Townville fire chief Billy McAdams (Sep. 29, 2016/FOX Carolina)
TOWNVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Firefighters from the Townville Fire Department spoke on Thursday after they responded to the scene of a school shooting.

Deputies said shots were fired by a teen suspect on the playground of Townville Elementary School, wounding two first graders and a teacher.

Townville volunteer firefighter Jamie Brock reportedly subdued the suspect gunman until deputies could arrive, helping to save lives.

Townville Fire Chief Billy McAdams read the following statement on Brock's behalf Thursday:

The true heroes of yesterday’s senseless tragedy are the teachers that put their lives on the line to protect the students. The principal, through the fears of her own, she did what was right to ensure the safety of her school. They deserve to be called heroes and I tip my hat to them.

For the victims and for little Jacob, who is fighting to survive, the young children that were affected and continue to be affected by this, the parents who will be called upon to put all the pieces back together, for my comrades, my brothers who witnessed what we should never have to witness and assisted alongside without hesitation, for all these, I ask your prayers.

My reaction to yesterday’s event was no different than any other fire or law enforcement personnel who put their lives on the line to protect their communities every day. God’s plan is bigger and we are Crossville strong. This will not take us down and brighter days are ahead as we begin to heal. 

McAdams also recounted the events of the shooting that transpired:

“At 1345 hours yesterday, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel from two counties were dispatched to a reported active shooter incident at Townville Elementary School.

Within the first few minutes, I made contact by phone to the front office confirming that there was an actual shooter.

From that point, we continued to receive calls on my cell phone, as well as Chief Bryan’s cell phone, of the events that were taking place.

With the information that we gathered from the front office, we were told that the shooter and the injured were in the rear of the school around the playground.

At that time, Firefighter Brock and I immediately left my nearby farm and raced to the school to try and help.

When we drove in to that rear parking lot, we immediately noticed a black pickup truck that had crashed into the playground area.

Firefighter Brock and I quickly got out and we made a face-to-face assessment.  We went to the black truck. We searched for anything, anybody.

There was no gunman inside the truck. Nothing else that we saw that posed a threat at that point in time at that location.

There was people from the school, teachers and staff that were at the back door that were calling…that were calling for police to come inside…That they had an injured child, another injured child and a teacher.

Jamie and I talked and we decided that we would split up.

He said, “You’re a paramedic. You go inside.” So, we split and he went down the sidewalk as I entered the building.

When I walked into the room, the nurse…excuse me….When I walked into the room, I was led by the staff through the room where the shooting took place into the room where the teacher had helped take the students that were injured out of her room, even through her injuries, through the hallway and into another room.

The nurse from the school, that’s on site every day, was attending to Jacob. We quickly checked the other two.

The teacher, Mrs. Hollingsworth, at that time, was seated and was telling us to take care of Jacob and not worry about her.

At that point, the nurse and I continued to work with Jacob as long as we could until we were assisted by other agencies. Oconee personnel came in to assist. We went with further advanced life support care for the child.  And at that time, we were able to get more law enforcement on scene to clear the building. .

At that time, Jacob was taken out and was flown for immediate treatment with critical injuries to Greenville Memorial.

Mrs. Hollingsworth and one other student were transported by ground to ANMED hospital.

While these events were taking place within the school, unbeknownst to me, Firefighter Brock had continued his search on the outside of the building.

As Firefighter Brock made his way to the rear corner, he observed the shooter a short distance away. Feeling it was imperative to the safety of the students, the teachers and all the responders that were on site, he immediately confronted and subdued that shooter.

He was able to keep him on the ground until law enforcement could place him into custody.

Over the next hour, school staff, firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement worked seamlessly together to ensure the safety and security of those remaining in the school. They ensured that each child and teacher were safe and accounted for and moved to a safe location to be reunited with their families.

Over the past 24 hours, the word hero has been used to describe the actions of Firefighter Brock and the other responders..  Well, we agree with that. But we also believe that the teachers and staff of the Townville Elementary School, who protected their children in the moments following those gunshots are heroes just as well. We also believe that the entire community of Townville are also heroes for their support that they have shown to everyone involved during this toughest time that you can imagine.

We ask that you continue to pray for law enforcement, our paramedics, firefighters, dispatchers, teachers and students, who were involved in the event of yesterday.

But please, especially continue to pray and remember little Jacob. He’s still fighting for his life.”

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