A shooting at a high school in Southern California on Thursday morning has left two victims dead and three students injured, the New York Times reports.
According to the local authorities, the suspected shooter was apprehended about an hour after the shooting was reported at 8 a.m. at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita.
The gunman, revealed to be a student who turned 16 today, reportedly took out a handgun from his backpack and shot five students before turning the gun on himself and shooting himself in the head. Two of the victims he shot, a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, died from the gunshot wounds.
The Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital tweeted earlier today that it had one female and two males in critical condition, and another male in good condition.
Earlier reports described the assailant as an Asian male wearing black but no other details have since been revealed so far. Police now say that the person is “no longer a threat” and is in “grave condition” while being treated at a hospital from his self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Capt. Kent Wegener of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.
Wegener added that the gunman used a .45 semi-automatic pistol that had “no more rounds in it” when officials found the weapon, Business Insider
Prior to his arrest, the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department indicated that the suspected gunman was last seen at the high school.
Saugus High School, situated at 21900 Centurion Way in Santa Clarita, erupted in chaos immediately after the shooting started sometime around 7 a.m. At around 7:45 a.m., deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrived at the scene after receiving reports of shots being fired inside the campus.
Authorities soon placed Saugus, the elementary schools nearby and all of the schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District on lockdown. Students were then escorted by deputies to school buses with armed deputies on board to be reunited with their parents at a park about three miles from the school.
After bringing the suspect into custody, the lockdown was subsequently lifted from all schools. While authorities initially believed there was only one suspect, they are still looking into all possible leads.
In an interview with CNN
, parent Ryan Moreno said he was at work when his wife told him about the shooting.
“I assumed she was at Saugus and told her to give me a call back. She gave me a call 10 seconds later saying that she can’t find my daughter. So I jammed up here. Soon as I got here my wife called me and said she’d found my daughter. Soon as I saw my daughter, I ran up and gave her a hug,” Moreno was quoted as saying.
“You see this on TV, what goes on in other states and you’re always thinking it’s tragedy, it’s sad but it’s never going to happen here. When it happens here, it hits home. You understand and realize what it’s like for all the parents who go through it. It’s not fun, it’s scary, especially if you can’t get a hold of your kid.”
The William S. Hart Union High School District has since released an updated statement that confirmed that the shooting started before the start of classes. It also noted that several students have been transported to local hospitals following the ordeal.
The names of the suspect and the victims have yet to be revealed.