DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) — A 16-year-old student died Tuesday afternoon after a shooting in the parking lot at the Darlington-Lee Adult Education campus in Darlington County, authorities said.
The student was pronounced dead at a hospital after the shooting, according to the Darlington County School District and Coroner Todd Hardee. Authorities were called to the area shortly before 1 p.m.
Darlington police said Tuesday night that they were trying to identify the occupants of a silver 2013 or 2017 Honda Accord with paper license plates. The vehicle could have a bullet hole in the roof and might be connected to the shooting.
“This is an incredibly tragic situation. The loss of a young person is heart wrenching,” said Dr. Tim Newman, superintendent of the Darlington County School District. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of our student. We are grateful for our law enforcement officers who responded to the situation. We are also grateful for our school staff who responded quickly to secure our buildings.”
The school is an alternative school that also offers GED schooling. News13 is working to learn whether the school has any outdoor cameras where the shooting happened.
The school district, Darlington County Sheriff’s Office and Darlington police will hold a joint news conference on Thursday at 1 p.m. to address Tuesday’s shooting.
Local law enforcement and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are investigating and the school district said it will continue to work with authorities during the investigation.
Earlier Tuesday, SLED confirmed that a “subject” died at the hospital after the shooting but did not provide any other information. Darlington police asked SLED to investigate, the agency said.
In a news release Tuesday afternoon, Darlington police said officers responded to a report of shots fired in the area of 100 Magnolia Street, which is the address for the school.
Police said a “subject” was taken to the McLeod Medical Center in Florence, but did not provide any other details. Police said there is no immediate threat to the surrounding area.
Law enforcement placed all buildings and schools in the Darlington area in a “secure status” shortly before 1 p.m., the district said. The secure-status designation meant no one could enter or leave the buildings, but it has since been lifted.
In light of the shooting, the school district said extra law enforcement officers were present Tuesday afternoon to help with school dismissal, which officials said would take place at normal times.
Darlington County Sheriff James Hudson Jr. told News13 on Wednesday that he thought crime was decreasing in the city and county, but added that crime can be sporadic.
The latest state crime stats available, from 2021, show Darlington County had the 3rd-highest violent crime rate in South Carolina.
Count on News13 for updates.