GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — The 12-year-old suspect in the deadly shooting at Tanglewood Middle School could be tried as an adult.

The 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office confirmed that it has filed a waiver in family court to move the case to the general sessions court, a move that means the 12-year-old accused of killing Jamari Jackson in March could be tried as an adult and get a more-severe sentence if convicted.

Attorney John Reckenbeil, said a 12-year-old being tried as an adult is extremely rare.

“The law of South Carolina actually doesn’t even talk about a 12-year-old. The law of South Carolina and the Juvenile Justice Code literally stops at 14,” Reckenbeil said.

According to the Department of Juvenile Justice, in 2005 a child was convicted of murders he committed at the age of 12. The DJJ couldn’t tell 7NEWS how many times that has happened in the state because they don’t keep records on cases that have moved to adult court.

Reckenbeil said the process involves the solicitor requesting the case the change in courts. Before that happens, Recknbeil said there is normally a pre-waiver evaluation.

“To determine, obviously, the competence of the child, any sort of mental deficiencies, or any sort of educational limits and background,” he said.

He added that the U.S. Supreme Court has a guide that the state can choose to follow.

“Clearly, No. 1 is the seriousness of the fact. Then, No. 2, is was there malicious intent? So, I think that’s very important with the evaluation, is that you have to see whether or not the child even has the ability to comprehend their actions caused the result,” Reckenbeil said.

Reckenbeil said if a 12-year-old, tried as an adult, is convicted, he thinks they would still have some protections.

“I could never see in the wildest imagination [that] the child would be held in an adult jail; that just won’t happen. What will happen is the rules of the adult court will kick in,” he said.

Reckenbeil clarified that if the move to the general sessions court is denied, the solicitor could appeal. It’s an unusual situation, but situations like this are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Bruce Wilson, a friend of the Jackson family, said they’re still in the grieving process.

“They’re going to let the legal side do what it needs to do to seek justice in this,” he said.

Meanwhile, the family is simply trying to figure out life without Jamari, he said.

“We’re talking about a 12-year-old kid,” he said. “No mother expects to bury a 12-year-old child.”

If the 12-year-old is not tried as an adult, the outcome will not be made available to the public due to juvenile confidentiality.