First-grader Jacob Hall was one of two children shot and wounded during the shooting at Townville Elementary School in Townville, South Carolina on Wednesday. He was just six years old. The name of the other child, also a boy, has not been made public, but he was treated and released from a hospital the same day — along with teacher Meghan Hollingsworth, according to a WYFF TV report.
Here’s what you need to know about Jacob.
1. He Passed Away From His Injuries On Saturday.
Jacob died as a result of his wound from the Townville school shooting at 12:56 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore announced.
“God took his strongest soldier,” Jacob’s older brother, Gerald Gambrell, said in a Facebook post. “Jacob will be with us forever and always in our hearts. I love you little brother and I can’t wait till the day we meet again. Your my hero buddy. I love you so much watch over your family son.”
Gambrel shared the heartbreaking photo, above, taken as Jacob’s family said goodbye to the little boy.
The child’s family issued a statement, saying that they believed that Jacob had already forgiven the teen boy who shot him, “because that’s the kind of child he was.”
On Thursday, the little boy’s family said that Jacob had been placed on life support and has suffered “a major brain injury.”
According to Jacob’s doctor, Keith Webb, the bullet severed the boy’s femoral artery, “which led to cardiopulmonary arrest. He has undergone surgery and a number of procedures to try to stabilize his condition.”
An autopsy was scheduled to be performed on Sunday.
Earlier details of Jacob’s severe injury came from South Carolina State Representative Alan Clemmons, who said on his Facebook page that the little boy is the nephew of two “dear friends.” Clemens reported that Jacob “died twice” and was revived both times, first in the medical helicopter as he was being rushed to Greenville Memorial Hospital, and then again by doctors there. Clemmons reported that Jacob’s wound “required immediate chest surgery to staunch the blood flow.”
The femoral artery is one of the largest arteries in the human body, and is the main artery supplying blood to the legs.
Jacob became the 490th child under the age of 12 to be wounded or killed by gunfire in the United States so far in 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
2. He Was Shot While Playing Outside During Recess
The 14-year-old gunman, who had been home schooled since he was suspended for bringing a gun to school at some point during the previous two years, according to CBS News, never made it inside the school. Instead, he drove a pickup truck to the school, crashed it into a fence, and opened fire with a handgun on children playing on the Townville Elementary School playground during a recess period in the school day, at about 1:45 p.m.
At least one shot struck Jacob in the leg.
3. The Shooter and Jacob Did Not Know Each Other
The shooter killed his own father, according to police, before going on his rampage at Townville Elementary School. But after that, investigators say there is no known relationship between the alleged teen gunman and Jacob or the the other two victims.
Nor was there any known relationship between the shooter and volunteer firefighter Jamie Brock, who — though unarmed — singlehandedly subdued the shooter and held him until police arrived.
The school shooting was the 197th known gunfire incident on a school ground since 2013, according to the EveryTownResearch.org site.
4. A GoFundMe Page Has Been Set Up To Help Jacob’s Family
Little Jacob’s parents, Roger and Renae Hall, issued a statement asking for privacy as they struggle through their ordeal. But a family friend Travis Paige started a GoFundMe account to raise funds for the family during that period, and to ease the financial burden of Jacob’s medical expenses.
“As most of yall have heard, Townville Elementary School was shot up today and one of the casualties was this sweet lil boy, Jacob. I am a friend of his parents and know the sweet lil fella,” said a statement on the page. “I’m starting this GoFund me to help with them due to the fact that Rodger and renae will need to be with him as much as possible which means they will have to miss work. Any donation is helpful so that they can be with their baby and not have to worry about bills piling up on them.”
After one day, the GoFundMe campaign had more than doubled its goal of $50,000, as 3,282 people contributed a total of $114,201.
5. Jacob Will Be Dressed As a Superhero at his Funeral
Saying that her good-hearted son loved superheroes and “wanted to save everybody” just like his comic book heroes, Jacob’s mom, Renae Hall, told reporters Saturday that the boy will be buried in one of his favorite superhero costumes, and that mourners are invited to come to the funeral dressed as superheroes themselves.
“I don’t want suits and ties and all that,” the mom said. “There will be a lot of children there and I don’t want it to be scary for them. Jacob will be dressed in his superhero costume.”
She said that her son was “an angel that was brought to this Earth to show love, to show kindness, and to show forgiveness. Jacob never had a bad intention in his body in his little six-and-a-half years that he was on Earth.”