Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson 12 year old Greenville County S.C middle school student shot dead by fellow classmate at Tanglewood Middle School. No known motive.
A Greenville County middle school student was shot and killed by another student after they passed each other in the hallway before being arrested near the school, South Carolina authorities said.
Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson, 12, died around 5pm after being transported to Prisma Health Greenville Memorial after he was fatally shot in the seventh-grade hallway by an unidentified teenage shooter, also 12.
The shooting occurred inside Tanglewood Middle School toward the front of the building around 12:30 p.m the state reported.
A student who claimed to be friends with the shooter said he witnessed the killing.
‘We were just walking down the hallway,’ a seventh-grade student named Michael, told WSPA. ‘He was walking really fast and he looked really nervous, and there was just a whole crowd of kids. All of sudden, he just reaches into his backpack and just pulls out gun [and] fired one shot.
‘Everyone standing around us were just screaming and running’
‘I didn’t think twice, I just ran,’ he said. ‘I just thought: “Oh my god, he’s going to shoot the school.”‘
Michael claimed he’s never seen his friend ‘walk that fast and kind of nervous like that’ before, but he didn’t think anything would happen.
‘Everyone standing around us were just screaming and running. And all of sudden, I look behind me and kids are just running inside classrooms and locking the doors and everything. And he didn’t know what to do, he just ran.’
The suspected shooter was found hiding under a desk inside a residence on the 3000 block of Easley Bridge Road not far from the school. A handgun was recovered, police said.
‘He was hiding. He’s a young man, probably didn’t understand the consequences of what had just happened,’ Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said at a press conference. ‘I don’t think he knew what to do honestly, except for to leave the school.’
He 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.
He is in custody at the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.
SCHOOL SHOOTING: 12YO charged with murder in killing of fellow 12YO student inside Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville, SC. This is the moment I witnessed the suspect being arrested. GCSO said the weapon was found on him. @foxcarolinanews pic.twitter.com/3MQgg7zSu1
— Cody Alcorn (@CodyAlcorn) March 31, 2022
No known motive
Police said they were not aware what led to the shooting, while saying that the two pupils were familiar with each other.
‘While the motive for the shooting and how the suspect was able to get possession of a firearm is still under investigation, we can confirm that the victim and suspect were familiar with each other and we are confident the incident was isolated,’ Lewis said according to the Greenville News.
The Jackson family released a statement asking for privacy and that they were ‘all devastated by today’s tragedy.’
‘We love Jamari dearly and we would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time,’ they said in a statement.
Deputies are still investigating the shooting and don’t know why it happened, Greenville County Schools Superintendent Burke Royster said according to WYFF 4.
‘I’m not sure after a full and thorough law enforcement investigation anyone will really know what was going through the mind of that young person who took this rash act,’ Royster said.
Parents are now calling for metal detectors to be placed inside the school.
‘I would love for Greenville County to do something and put metal detectors. They all come through the same door. They go to the cafeteria they do that. Why don’t they put a metal detector and then at least detect there’s something there,’ an unidentified mother told WYFF 4.