2 Students — Girl, 16, and Boy, 14 — Killed in Southern California High School Shooting
Two students were killed and three other innocent students were injured by gunfire when a student opened fire at a California school on Thursday morning.
Los Angeles County authorities announced at an afternoon press conference that the shooter, a 16-year-old student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, removed a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol from his backpack and opened fire on the quad, shooting five students before shooting himself in the head.
The shooting was captured on a school surveillance camera. Authorities received calls about the shooting at 7:38 a.m.
The deceased victims are a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy.
Other students hit by gunfire include a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl, and another 14-year-old boy. Their conditions were not made public.
Another student was injured but was not hit by gunfire.
The shooter — whose birthday is today — is in grave condition after his self-inflicted gunshot wound. His gun was recovered at the scene and had no more bullets in it, authorities said.
Authorities said they are investigating a motive and executed a search warrant on the shooter’s home.
Deputy Grace Medrano described the suspect to PEOPLE as an Asian male who was wearing a black hat and blue jeans.
“It’s a sad day in Saugus,” L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at the press conference.
Two months ago, six students at the school were detained on felony charges for allegedly making threats online, the Los Angeles Times reports. Authorities said those threats were not related to Thursday’s shooting.
Students: Shooting Started in Outdoor Common Area
One student named Andrew told KABC he was in a classroom when “a loud bang happened,” leading students to head for the door.“
“Kids said there was a shooter, so we pushed all the desks up against the door, and barricaded ourselves in,” Andrew said. “It was a big mess.”
Another student, Lauren, told KABC she didn’t think the noises she was hearing were gunfire until there were three successive shots. She said the shooting started in an outdoor common area of the school, as most of the students were arriving for class.
Student Denzel Abesamis tells PEOPLE he was driving to school and making a left turn onto campus when he saw students running away.
“I automatically knew something bad was happening,” the 16-year-old says. He immediately turned around and drove home.
“You would never know that something like this would happen at your school, and now that it has happened, it feels weird and strange.”
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.