20 people named in 'kill' list found in school hallway, deputies say
DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) -- Dorchester County deputies questioned a middle school student last week after a guidance counselor found a list of "people to kill" in a hallway.
According to Dorchester County deputies, the list was found at DuBose Middle School on Aug. 29. School administrators and deputies went through the school's surveillance footage to see who had dropped the paper.
Deputies said the handwritten list was made up of eighth grade students but did not match a current classroom roster. School district officials said 14 of the names were students. As a result, deputies could not determine who had made the list by interviewing one classroom, so administrators were asked to check handwriting samples.
The writing samples led deputies to the suspect. A sheriff's office report shows the student was asked to visit the principal and give a list of student who had been bothering him.
The verbal list matched the written list in the hallway, officials said. When asked, the student also confessed to writing the list, the report states.
Deputies then met with the student's parents who assured deputies they did not own firearms and their son did not have access to weapons.
During an interview with the student, the child said he wrote the list as a means of stress release. He had intended the list to end up in the trash, the report states.
After interviewing the student, deputies then reached out to the parents of the students named on the list as a means of informing them about the list and to give them details about the alleged harassment.
A mother of one of the student's whose name was on the list says she didn't find out about the incident until days later. Now, Beth Bullock's son Matt fears going to school.
"When I answered the phone, she said, 'Is this Ms. Bullock?' I said yes. She said, 'This is the principal Ms. Caldwell and DuBose Middle School. Met me first tell you Matt is OK and not in trouble, but we did find a hit list of students that a student wanted to kill and Matthew was on that list," said Bullock.
Bullock said she was not told about the list until Tuesday even though it was found last week.
"I don't understand. My issue is that everyone as soon as possible should have been notified. And every single parent of every single kid at that school should have been notified," she said. "I'm not saying take this kid and throw away the key. I'm saying find out what is happening in his head. Find out what is happening. What happened that would make him want to kill his classmates? What's so horrible that would make this 12 year old do this?"
The student was suspended until a discipline hearing could be scheduled, district officials said.
Bullock said she plans to remove her son from the school permanently if the student who wrote the list returns to school.