‘Why all this shooting?’:Orangeburg high school incident prompts reaction from sheriff and superintendent

ORANGEBURG, SC (WOLO) – An arrest has been made following yesterday’s school shooting at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School.

A suspect was taken into custody after shooting three students. Those students are in stable condition.

Classes at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School are cancelled for the rest of the week before students return Monday. Friday’s scheduled home football game has also been moved to an away game in Bluffton.

Even 24 hours past the incident, the shock still can be felt in the community.

“We know that teachers can’t teach and students can’t learn when they’re scared,” said Dr. Shawn Foster, superintendent of Orangeburg County Schools.

It was a scary situation on the first day of school at 4 in the afternoon when kids were leaving the building Wednesday.

“Doing further investigation, it was not a drive by. It was an isolated incident that happened on the back of campus,” said Orangeburg Sheriff Leroy Ravanell. “Being an ongoing investigation, that’s all I’ll say about that part of it but it was an isolated incident.”

After more than 300 students were relocated inside for safety, law enforcement took a 14-year-old juvenile into custody after arresting him without incident on school property. He faces three counts of assault and battery charges.

“As an adult with this charge, violent crime with a weapon has a maximum of 30 years,” Ravanell said.

The sheriff did not say if the three individuals who were shot were targeted by the suspect, but did say that the gun violence in Orangeburg is a community problem.

“Why all this shooting? Because everybody has a gun, that’s why,” the sheriff said. “We’re passing laws that don’t help this.”

In the meantime, the school district is offering counseling for students and plans to step up security measures for the rest of the year.

“We met with the administration and law enforcement. We will have enhanced security measures,” Foster said. “We met with the faculty and staff not only to applaud them for their efforts but also gain feedback about how we can learn from this situation. There will be an increased police presence.”

The sheriff said that more suspects are believed to be involved in the shooting but would not say what those charges might be.

“This is a problem we have and we have to do something more about it than just talk,” Ravanell added.

Thursday afternoon at the school, a group called Mixed Sistaz United from nearby Sumter spoke about their concerns with violent crime, especially at schools.

Categories: Local News, Orangeburg