TOWNVILLE, SC — Jesse Osborne, 14, told police that he fatally shot his father and then kissed his bunny, Floppy, and three dogs good-bye before opening fire at a South Carolina elementary school, according to the boy’s videotaped statement played in court Monday.
The teen shot his father, 47, three times with one of his own guns on September 28, 2016.
After saying farewell to his beloved pets, he got into his father’s truck and drove to nearby Townville Elementary School — and started shooting at children on the school’s playground. He hit six-year-old Jacob Hall (above), critically wounding him. The boy later bled to death.
Jacob was dressed in a Batman costume at his funeral, and 1,500 mourners also wore Superhero costumes. One man drove all the way from West Virginia so his Batmobile could be parked at the funeral home.
Another boy and a teacher were also injured by the bullets, and were later released from the hospital. The shooter explains in the videotape that he’d loaded the gun with the wrong ammunition, so it kept jamming. “It jammed again every time, and I thank God for that,” he said. Surely, the casualties would have been higher if he’d used the correct ammunition.
You can read the full September 28, 2016, family court transcript of the interview with Jesse Osborne here.
The videotape was played as part of a hearing to decide if Osborne, who faces two counts of murder and additional charges, will be tried as an adult for the killings. If he is tried as an adult, he could face decades behind bars — but if he is tried as a juvenile, he could only be held in custody until his 21st birthday.
After the shooting, Osborne explained to police that he was angry with his father for questioning his spending and yelling at him for not finishing his math homework. He also told detectives that he had been always bullied at school, and that his parents had loud arguments at home. He also revealed to investigators that he began to be homeschooled after being busted with both a machete and a hatchet at his middle school. The teen said, “I always have an anger feeling.”
Chillingly, he confessed that he had researched the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, and belonged to an Instagram group of international teens, who he described as his “friends,” who discussed if they could all go out and shoot up a school on the same day. Authorities have never revealed whether or not the group really existed, or if there were any other shooting associated with it.
Osborne told investigators that he wanted to apologize to his family — but said he believed that he would get out of jail when he turned 18. He reportedly did not say much about his victims.
After Jacob’s murder, his parents Renae and Rodger Hall released a statement:
“Jacob came into our lives six years and four months ago and changed it completely. He showed us how to love, laugh, and smile even on days we did not want to. God gave him to us, and he was taken away from us by a senseless act. We know that Jacob has already forgiven this child for what he did to him and his family because that’s the kind of child he was.”
Since her son’s murder, Jacob’s mother has had run-ins with the law, for marijuana and cocaine possession, intention to distribute methamphetamine, and animal mistreatment.
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Main photo: Jacob Hall [NBC News (screenshot)]