Two Students Killed In Tragic School Shooting
Two teenagers were killed and several students were injured in a high school shooting in Southern California on Friday.
A 16-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy died after a fellow student opened fire at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita near Los Angeles.
The wounded victims were identified as a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl and another 14-year-old boy.
All of the victims are now in stable condition, according to police.
A teenage suspect, who's 16th birthday is today, is in custody in hospital, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
He was hospitalised in a "grave condition" and is suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
He was identified to CBS News as Nathaniel Berhow.
A surveillance video of the incident showed a teenage boy withdraw a handgun from his backpack and shoot five people before shooting himself in the head just before 8am local time.
Officers arrived to find six students lying wounded in the campus quad, including the suspect.
The weapon, a 45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, was found at the scene with no rounds in it.
LA Times reported the suspect's father died of a heart attack in 2017 and was a hunter and owned several weapons.
The suspected shooter's motive is not yet known, however, neighbours said the boy has been struggling with his father's death.
The William S. Hart Union High School District said their "hearts go out to the families of those affected in this terrible incident".
"Words are insufficient in times such as these," Mike Kuhlman Deputy Superintendent William S. Hart Union High School District said.
"We are currently in the process of formulating a plan to care for our school and our community - and will continue sharing updates as we learn more - including the plan for the days ahead."
Classes had just gotten underway when the shooting happened, so the campus was not completely full.
“All of a sudden, we hear this distinctive sound outside, so my teacher quickly sprang to his feet,” student Mason Peters said.
“(He) got up, locked the door, asked one of the students to get the keys. So we reinforced it. Turned off all the lights. Then we got a bunch of desks and stuff and reinforced the doors. And then we all stayed hidden.”
One student told CBS, he recently reported a social media threat to police prior to the shooting.
“We found an Instagram account, like in their bio, it said ‘Saugus have fun at school tomorrow,’ so I got like speechless and I didn’t know what to do, so I reported it to police,” student Ryan Payae said.
The suspect's mother and girlfriend are being questioned by officers and are said to be cooperating with the investigation.
This shooting brings the toll of school shootings to 30 that have led to death or injury this year, a gun safety group reported.
At least 13 people have died in fatal shooting attacks in 2019, according to the research.
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