Two Dead in South Carolina High School Shooting

Two Dead in South Carolina High School Shooting

A recently suspended student returned to his high school with a gun, wounding one teacher before fatally shooting himself, authorities said. Another teacher died of undetermined causes.

 It was unclear whether the dead teacher was shot or collapsed and died when confronted by the gunman, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said.

Toby R. Sincino, 16, walked into a math classroom at Blackville-Hilda High School at about 8:40 a.m. and shot teacher Johnny Thompson in the face, Stewart said.

Sincino then moved on to a teacher’s workroom where teacher Phyllis Senn, 56, died, the chief said. Stewart said it was not clear if she had been shot but an initial examination did not reveal any wounds. Originally, it had been reported that a woman teacher was shot to death.

 The youth tried to get into the school’s office before fatally shooting himself in the head, Stewart said. His body was found outside the office door, the chief said.

 Thompson was in serious but stable condition at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, spokeswoman Rubenia Hammond said.

``When it first started I heard the gunshots, and it sounded like firecrackers. I was really scared,″ Student Alan Pritchard, a junior, told The Aiken Standard. ``The students in the classroom where the shooting took place all scattered, and those in my room got on the floor.

″Sincino had been suspended Wednesday, Stewart said. The chief was accompanied to this rural town about 45 miles south of Columbia by Gov. David Beasley, who said he would meet with community leaders and urge calm and compassion.

Pritchard said Sincino had told the principal, ``I don’t expect to live to be 21.″

 Marla Jameson, a bookkeeper with Barnwell School District 19, said high school students, as well as those at nearby middle and elementary schools, were sent home at 9:45 a.m.