Stuffed Animals Donated to Townville Elementary Students Touched by Tragic School Shooting

A parent’s worst nightmare became a reality on September 28 when a 14-year-old boy murdered his father then proceeded to Townville Elementary School, located in a rural area of Anderson County, South Carolina. Now the Hyco K-9 Fund is doing their part to help the young students cope.

Two students and a teacher were shot when the teen entered the playground area after jumping a fence and began firing a handgun. Jacob Hall, a first-grader at the school, is fighting for his life after a bullet passed through his femoral artery. Not only are the students devastated and frightened, their parents are having to deal with the process of explaining to their innocent children why anyone would want to come onto school property and harm them.

Jacob Hall still in critical condition (left) and Jamie Brock the firefighter who took down the shooter
Jacob Hall still in critical condition (left) and Jamie Brock the firefighter who took down the shooter

Hyco was a beloved K-9 of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO).

The Hyco K-9 Fund announced on their Facebook community page September 29

“We want to make the first day back to school a little easier and a little less scary for the children at Townville Elementary. With the help of the community and friends of our community we would like to give EACH of the 285 children at the school their own personal “ACSO K-9”.

Your donation of $8 pays to adopt a K-9 which will be given to the children who were affected by gun violence at Townville Elementary on their first day back. This stuffed German Shepherd will be the child’s personal K-9 to help them feel safe and protected and give them a little comfort during a difficult time.”

Hyco and the students and teacher injured at the school have something in common, as they all were shot in this close-knit community. On October 21, 2015, Anderson County Deputies responded to a reported car-jacking in Townville. Witnesses reported as many as four suspects were involved in the chase. The suspects were eventually cornered and fled the vehicle.

Deputy Surratt with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office released K-9 Hyco to give chase and one suspect turned and began firing gunshots at the Deputies and K-9 Hyco. Hyco was determined to not let this continue and went full steam to stop this violent suspect and was struck by gunfire while doing so. Deputy Surratt grabbed his injured partner and rushed to the emergency vet, where Hyco succumbed to a gunshot wound a short time after arriving at the hospital. You can read his complete story here.

Anderson County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Surratt and Hyco in 2012. Hyco was killed in a shooting.
Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Surratt and Hyco in 2012. Hyco was killed in a shooting.

Hyco was brave, as was each and every student and faculty member at Townville Elementary School. A plan was put into place and practiced less than a week ago as part of an emergency preparedness drill held at the school, so when tragedy struck, the students were quickly bussed, along with law enforcement to nearby Oakdale Baptist Church.

Each ASCO Hyco K-9 stuffed animal will read

“As Hyco did, all Anderson County Sheriff’s K-9s do and every K-9 does, this K-9 will help protect you, comfort you and be your friend. Your K-9 has been trained already so no need to worry, all you have to do is to be sure to give your pup the perfect name.”

Our thanks go out to the Hyco K-9 Fund for their wonderful insight into how they could best help the students. If you would like to sponsor one of the K-9’s, you may do so by mail to Hyco K-9 Fund PO BOX 3775, Anderson, SC 29622-3775 or by PayPal.

The Townville Fire Department released a statement thanking all involved, especially Jamie Brock, a 30 year veteran of the department, who wrestled and disarmed the teen and held him until police arrived.

“To the initial teachers and nurse Angie, to Firefighter Brock for your selflessness in detaining the shooter, to the first in team in of responders from Townville VFD, Fork Rescue Squad, Oconee Fire, and Oconee EMS. Thank you. To all other responding fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement agencies….. Thank you. To the medical transport helicopters….. Thank you. To the churches, county, and community members: Your support has also been overwhelming.”

Parents, hold your children close and pray for Jacob Hall. He has a long recovery ahead. An update just released Thursday night reports Jacob was placed on life support.

Elisa Taylor

Elisa's articles have helped save thousands of the shelter pets she writes about, along with animal welfare and cruelty case articles which are published on as well as her personal website at (National Cat Reporter). Elisa lives with her daughter and a multitude of cats (including one cat­-dog named Cujo). As a writing "addict" Elisa enjoys sharing interesting stories with other animal lovers.


  1. Pam Jackson says:

    Touching article, Elisa.

    1. Elisa Taylor says:

      This is so sad. I watched an interview with the family done tonight and the family appears to understand he won’t likely survive this.

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