-- A 6-year-old boy is "fighting for his life" today after being critically wounded in the shooting at an elementary school in Townville, South Carolina, according to the city's fire chief, who spoke at a news conference this afternoon.
Jacob Hall, a kindergarten student at Towville Elementary School, was shot in the leg by a suspected 14-year-old gunman who opened fire at the school's outdoor playground during recess on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
A "bullet ripped through little Jacob's femoral artery," a major artery located in the thigh, wrote South Carolina Rep. Alan Clemmons on his Facebook page Wednesday. Clemmons noted that Jacob was a nephew of "dear friends" of his.
In a statement Thursday night, the boy's family asked for prayers.
"Please continue to pray for Jacob and the other victims of this horrible, senseless act. Thank you all for respecting our family as we prepare for the days ahead."
The state representative added in an update today that the "shot that severed Jacob's femoral artery required immediate chest surgery to staunch the blood flow."
Jacob remained in critical condition at Greenville Health System Children's Hospital this afternoon, according to Sandy Dees, Greenville Health System senior media relations coordinator.
During a news conference today, Townville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Billy McAdams asked for prayers for all those involved in Wednesday's shooting, "especially for little Jacob," who he said was "still fighting for his life."
McAdams was one of several first responders who tended to Jacob and his teacher during the shooting. He noted that the teacher told him and other emergency personnel to "take care of Jacob first" and not worry about her.
The fire chief also read a statement prepared by Townville veteran firefighter Jamie Brock, who has been credited as the hero who took down the suspected gunman.
In the statement, Brock said that "the true heroes of yesterday's senseless tragedy" were the teachers and principal who "put their lives on the line to protect the students."
ABC News' Darryl Calhoun, Janice McDonald, Steve Osunsami contributed to this report.