Family of 12-year-old killed at Tanglewood files lawsuit against Greenville County Schools

Family grieving at school.

Family of 12-year-old killed at Tanglewood files lawsuit against Greenville County Schools

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The family of a 12-year-old shot and killed at school are suing the Greenville County School District and the family of their son’s suspected killer.

On March 31, 2022, 12-year-old Jordan Williams Jr. brought a gun to Tanglewood Middle School and shot 12-year-old Jamari Jackson in the hallway, according to investigators.

Jamari Jackson

Williams, now 14, is charged with murder and will be tried as an adult, but Jackson family attorney Margie Pizzaro said there are more people that need to be held accountable.

The Jackson family is now suing the Greenville County School District (GCSD), superintendent Burke Royster, former Tanglewood Middle School principal Graysen Walles, and former assistant principal Harold McPhail. Also named in the lawsuit are Williams’ aunt and father.

Responsibility of GCSD

“GCSD is responsible for the supervision, security, and well-being of the students who attend Tanglewood Middle School,” the lawsuit said. “It has regularly failed to do so; as recently as last month (February 29, 2024), a Tanglewood student brought a gun to school.”

The lawsuit said the school district was aware Williams “had a propensity for physical violence and aggressiveness toward others,” saying Williams was suspended from school for bullying and fighting for at least 20 days out of the school year before the shooting.

Attorney’s Statement

“[In] the time that has passed since Jamari’s killing and when that gun was discovered, nothing has been done,” Pizzaro said following a judge’s decision to try Williams as an adult. “Nothing has changed. So, Jamari’s death is not going to be in vain and if as a result of his death the Greenville County School District finally does something to make sure that children that attend Greenville County schools are safe, you know, that’s what we’re hoping his legacy is.”

A spokesperson for Greenville County Schools sent FOX Carolina the following statement: “Greenville County Schools has not been served with a lawsuit, and since the district does not comment on pending litigation until after reviewing a filing, there’s no basis for a comment at this time. The safety of students and staff has been and continues to be Greenville County Schools’ top priority. The district continues to offer our deepest sympathies to Jamari Jackson’s family.”

Illegal Possession of Gun

The lawsuit said Williams’ father was also aware of the issues his son was having at school and was illegally in possession of the gun investigators said his son used to kill Jackson. The gun, according to the lawsuit and testimony at Williams’ waiver hearing, belonged to his aunt.

The Jackson family is also suing the owner of the property where Williams lived, SCAP 121 LLC, saying the company “assumed responsibility for the proper care and keeping of the property” but failed to do so.

Unidentified Defendants

Five John Does are also included in the lawsuit “as-yet unidentified employees, agents, or others acting on the part” of GCSD. None of the defendants have filed a response to the allegations in court yet.

Copyright 2024 WHNS. All rights reserved.


HERE Greenville
Author: HERE Greenville

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