Stefanie Dazio and John Antczak, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, November 14, 2019 11:18AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 14, 2019 11:54PM EST
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — A pupil pulled a gun from his backpack and opened fire at a Southern California high faculty Thursday, killing two college students and wounding three others earlier than taking pictures himself in the top on his 16th birthday, authorities mentioned.
The attacker was hospitalized in crucial situation, officers mentioned, and investigators supplied no fast motive.
The gunfire started round 7:30 a.m. at Saugus High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita. Authorities estimated that the suspect took simply 16 seconds to drag out the weapon, shoot 5 classmates and switch the gun on himself.
At the time, college students have been “milling around” and greeting one another in an outside quad space, sheriff’s murder Capt. Kent Wegener mentioned. Surveillance video confirmed the shooter standing nonetheless whereas “everyone is active around him.”
“He just fires from where he is. He doesn’t chase anybody. He doesn’t move,” Wegener mentioned.
The suspect appeared to fire at whoever was in entrance of him. He had no identified connection to these he shot, Wegener mentioned.
Video confirmed the very last thing the assailant did was shoot himself with the ultimate bullet in the .45-calibre handgun, Wegener mentioned. The weapon was empty when it was recovered.
A 16-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy died.
Two women, ages 14 and 15, have been every in good situation after being handled for gunshot wounds, in line with Patricia Aidem, a spokeswoman for Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.
A 14-year-old boy was handled and launched from one other hospital, authorities mentioned.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva mentioned the shooter was a pupil on the faculty however didn’t establish him.
The sheriff mentioned a biography on an Instagram account reported as probably belonging to the teenager contained the posting: “Saugus, have fun at school tomorrow.”
The message was found Thursday morning after the taking pictures. It was unclear when it was made and by whom, the sheriff mentioned.
It was later eliminated, and investigators have no idea who made the change, Wegener mentioned.
Investigators have been looking out the suspect’s house. Wegener mentioned the sheriff’s division had not acquired any current calls to the boy’s home “that would indicate that there was turmoil” there.
The teen’s father died two years in the past. Two years earlier than that, the daddy had been arrested amid a home dispute with the boy’s mom.
Fellow college students and a neighbour say he was a Boy Scout who was good, quiet and gave no indication he would change into violent. One woman who knew him for years mentioned he wasn’t bullied and had a girlfriend.
“At this point in time, we have no indication of motivation or ideology,” mentioned Paul Delacourt, the agent in cost of the FBI’s Los Angeles discipline workplace. Santa Clarita is a metropolis of greater than 200,000 about 30 miles (48 kilometres) northwest of downtown LA.
The sound of gunfire despatched some college students working whereas others and employees adopted not too long ago practiced safety procedures.
Kyra Stapp, 17, was watching a documentary in class when she heard two gunshots. Panicked college students ran in and reported the taking pictures.
Stapp’s class and others have been herded right into a instructor break room the place they locked the door and turned off the lights.
Kyra texted her mom and tried not make any noise. They exchanged messages as sirens screamed and helicopters and deputies carrying rifles and shotguns swarmed the campus. Then Kyra fell silent whereas officers escorted college students out.
“She’s been texting me and all of a sudden she’s not,” Tracy Stapp mentioned. “That was like the worst 10 minutes of my life, I swear.”
Shauna Orandi, 16, mentioned she was in her Spanish class doing homework when she heard 4 gunshots that she initially mistook as devices from a band class. She mentioned a pupil burst into the room saying he’d seen the gunman, and her classmates have been surprised into silence.
“My worst nightmare actually came true,” she mentioned later as she left a close-by park along with her father. “This is it. I’m going to die.”
Freshman Rosie Rodriguez mentioned she was strolling up the library stairs when she heard noises that gave the impression of balloons popping. She realized they have been gunshots when she noticed different college students working.
Still carrying a backpack laden with books, she ran throughout the road to a house, the place an individual she did not know gave shelter to her and about 10 different college students.
“I just heard a lot of kids crying. We were scared,” Rodriguez mentioned.
A big crowd of anxious dad and mom gathered in the park, ready to be reunited with their kids.
Undersheriff Tim Murakami tweeted an apology to the dad and mom, saying investigators wanted to interview the scholars earlier than they could possibly be launched.
Orandi mentioned she has heard about so many faculty shootings that she all the time assumed she’d panic. But she stayed calm with the assistance of her instructor, who locked down the classroom.
Saugus High’s safety is supplied by one unarmed sheriff’s deputy and 9 “campus supervisors” who act as guards, mentioned to Collyn Nielson, chief administrative officer for the William S. Hart Union High School District.
The campus is surrounded by a fence, and college students enter via a restricted variety of gates every morning. There are a dozen safety cameras however no metallic detectors.
All district faculties maintain lockdown drills thrice a yr, together with two in the autumn which have already occurred, Nielson mentioned.
“In speaking with staff and hearing reports, students reported they knew what to do and immediately went into lockdown mode,” he mentioned.
#LASD Shooting at Saugus High School , Please keep away from the realm. Male Asian suspect black clothes final seen on the location. Deputies on scene and nonetheless responding. Avoid the realm Further info to comply with.
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) November 14, 2019
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Neighboring elementary faculties are being locked down
— SCV Sheriff (@SCVSHERIFF) November 14, 2019
Antczak reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Christopher Weber, Brian Melley and Justin Pritchard in LA additionally contributed to this report.