Santa Clarita, CA – A teenage gunman killed two classmates and wounded at least three more students at Saugus High School on Thursday morning, his 16th birthday.
Authorities received a 911 call at about 7:38 a.m. on Nov. 14 reporting an active shooter who had shot multiple students on the high school campus, NBC News reported.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters at a press conference that the first deputies to arrive on the scene got there at 7:40 a.m.
Sheriff Villanueva said those deputies encountered multiple victims with gunshot wounds in the exterior quad area at the school.
He said all of those victims were triaged and sent to the hospital, some by helicopter.
The gunman turned out to be one of the students who was initially transported as a victim, the sheriff said.
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Homicide Captain Kent Wegener said that surveillance video from the school’s security system clearly showed the gunman drew a handgun out of his backpack and shot five other students before turning the gun on himself in the quad area outside the classrooms.
The captain said investigators are working to process all of the surveillance footage available from the school’s system.
He also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has stepped in to help collect and process all the cell phone video filmed by students who were witnesses to the shootings.
Capt. Wegener said the suspect’s weapon – a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol - was found at the scene and was out of ammunition.
He said that shortly after the gunman was identified, law enforcement went to his home to check for additional victims.
No other victims were found.
A neighbor told NBC News that the shooter’s father had recently died.
Capt. Wegener said the gunman’s sister and mother were at the sheriff’s department answering questions.
Two of the gunshot victims have died, and the gunman remains in “grave” condition, according to the authorities.
NBC News reported that the shooter was an organ donor and is being kept on life support until his organs can be harvested.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital said their facility had received four patients, three of whom arrived in critical condition.
A 16-year-old female victim and a 14-year-old male victim died at the hospital, NBC News reported.
A hospital spokesperson said that one male shooting victims remained in “critical condition” and another boy was in “good condition.” He would not confirm any information regarding the shooter.
Two more female students were reportedly being treated for gunshot wounds at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, NBC News reported.
One of the girls was in “good condition” and the other was in “fair condition.”
A seventh student was injured but not by gunfire, NBC News reported.
Deputies began evacuating students as soon as they cleared the campus.
The students were taken by bus to Central Park, escorted by armed deputies, NBC News reported.
News helicopter footage of the evacuation showed students walking in lines with their hands held over their heads.
Overhead footage of the quad where the shootings occurred showed a series of picnic tables inside yellow crime scene tape covered in abandoned backpacks and book bags, left behind when students had to run for their lives, NBC News reported.
Students reported having heard gunshots from inside their classrooms. Some told stories about how they were shoved into closets by teachers after the shooting began.
The father of one witness to the shootings said his daughter was being held inside the school to be interviewed by deputies about what she saw.
He said his daughter told him the shooter was a junior and she may have had classes with him.
Police have said there is no additional threat, NBC News reported.
The authorities have not yet identified the gunman or any of his victims.
The investigation was continuing at two locations – the school and the gunman’s home - with multiple federal agencies responding to assist as well.
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