said the shooting at Saugus High School that left two students dead and three
wounded occurred over a 16-second period in which a classmate pulled out a gun
in the quad area and opened fire.
broke out at 7:30 a.m., when students at the school were scheduled to be in
their first-period classes, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
rushed onto the campus, treating the wounded, and law enforcement officers
searched nearby neighbourhoods for a 16-year-old boy they thought had fled
after the shooting. Authorities later said the suspect, identified by neighbours
and sheriff’s officials as Nathaniel Berhow, was found on campus with a
self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
said he was taken to a hospital and is in grave condition. Authorities said a
message referencing the shooting, thought to have been posted before the
attack, appeared on an Instagram account believed to be linked to the suspect.
But Instagram said late Thursday, as first reported by BuzzFeed News, that
the account didn’t belong to the teenager. A company representative said via
email that the account has since been disabled “for violating our policies.”
Capt. Kent Wegener said the teen was standing in the quad when he pulled a
.45-caliber handgun from his backpack and opened fire on other students before
turning the gun on himself. It was the suspect’s 16th birthday, authorities
The scene at
the school at 21900 Centurion Way was chaotic, with teenagers walking in a line
behind armed law enforcement officers with their arms raised in the air. Many
of the injured were treated in a grassy area on campus before being placed on
gurneys and taken to ambulances in the school’s parking lot.
students, a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, died after being taken to a
hospital. A 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were
being treated for their injuries. One of the teens, who was originally listed
in good condition, was released from the hospital in the afternoon.
students remained locked in classrooms for more than an hour amid the massive
police presence. Eventually, they were led off the school grounds by deputies.
Some were in tears. As they walked, one student asked aloud a question on the
minds of many others: “What kind of a world is this?”
Mojica, 17, was in his AP government class going over a worksheet when his
teacher went outside and saw people running. Nobody in class panicked; then
somebody opened the door and said there was a shooter on campus. His heart
instant, about 30 students in the class were up and barricading the doors with
desks and tables. They’d practiced this before, but “there was just something
different about it from a simple drill to real life,” Mojica said.
sat in silence and had a fire extinguisher they were prepared to use as a
weapon if anyone came into the classroom. They didn’t hear any gunshots.
“We had no
clue whether the shooter was on the opposite side of campus or right outside
our door,” Mojica said. “That fear made it feel like we were waiting in silence
forever.”At a park down the street from the school, a stream of parents — some
sobbing, others glued to their phones — gathered. They had been directed there
by law enforcement to be reunited with their children.
shooting came two months after six students at the high school were
detained on felony charges after authorities were alerted to threats the
teenagers had made online. A Hart Union staff member discovered the social
media posts “regarding committing acts of school violence” and alerted
authorities, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Detectives quickly determined who had made the posts, according to the agency. Villanueva said the threats were not connected to Thursday’s events.
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