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Hearings Begin For 14-Year-Old Who 'Hugged All His Animals' Goodbye Before Opening Fire On Elementary School
In a taped interview with police, Jesse Osborne said he would have killed more if his gun didn't jam.
This week marked the start of hearings for alleged school shooter Jesse Osborne to determine if he will be tried as an adult for the shootings. In 2016, the then-14-year-old allegedly shot and killed his father before driving to Townville Elementary School, a school he used to attend. At the school, he allegedly opened fire on the South Carolina playground, killing 6-year-old Jacob Hall and wounding three others.
An interview with investigators recorded one day after the shooting was played during the waiver hearing this week.
"Well, last night, my dad was fussing to me and my mom about not getting paid enough for his chicken houses," the teen said in the video. "And he was getting up in my face and stuff. And whenever he's drunk, he always, like, says he wants to fight me... And then my mom will have to step in and get fussed at, too. And last night, he was just worse than he's ever been."
He went on to say that his father, 47, was mad at him the next morning for not finishing his homework. That same day, the father was shot three times. According to the Independent Mail, after he allegedly killed his father, Osborne "hugged all the animals," including his bunny Floppy, before leaving the house. Then, he hopped in his father's truck and drove to the elementary school. Osborne said he would have killed more at the school, but his gun jammed.
“It jammed again every time, and I thank God for that,” he told investigators, according to WAVY. “Please say no one died. Did anyone die?”
The day of the shooting, he was tackled by a volunteer firefighter.
The teen’s attorney, Frank Eppes, tried to get that footage barred from the hearings, claiming his client was too young to make an informed decision of whether or not to speak to police.
"A child that is too young to get married, too young to decide virtually anything on his own, should not be held to a standard of knowingly relinquishing his rights," Eppes said.
In that video interview, Osborne also complained about being bullied and said he had researched the 1999 school shooting at Columbine. He explained that he intended to kill himself after the shooting, and he expressed concern over his surviving relatives.
"I'm pretty sure they'll get death threats. Tell them I love them," he said.