Death toll rises to 2 after high school shooting in Santa Clarita this morning
Updated: Nov 15, 2019
- Santa Clarita, CA
The death toll has risen to two as a 16-year-old boy shot five of his classmates wounding three and killing two before turning the .45-caliber handgun on himself, and putting him in grave condition authorities of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department said.
A Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesperson said that multiple 911 calls prompted firefighter-paramedics to respond around 7:40 a.m. to Saugus High School at 21900 Centurion Way.
Six students, including the gunman, were found in the quad area suffering from gunshot wounds, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a news conference. All six were transported to hospitals in the region, where two of them, a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, were later pronounced dead.
The surviving victims were described as two girls, ages 14 and 15. Their names were not immediately disclosed. The sheriff said the deceased girl's parents were at the hospital. He was notified of the second fatality during a press conference at the school.
About two hours later, authorities announced the death of another 14-year-old boy who had been shot. According to sheriff's Capt. Kent Wegener, surveillance video "clearly" shows the suspect pulling a semi-automatic handgun out of his backpack in the quad and shooting five classmates before shooting himself in the head.
Thursday was the gunman's 16th birthday, the captain said.
He was listed in grave condition at a hospital, according to Villanueva. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, authorities released a description of the suspect as a manhunt got underway. Heavily armed deputies and an armored SWAT vehicle were seen at a home near the school. Investigators confirmed the gunman lived at the house, which was being searched for evidence.
The high school remained on lockdown for hours after the incident. Shortly before 11 a.m., lockdowns were lifted at all campuses in the district, as well as Rosedell and Highland elementary schools.
Central Park, at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, was being used as a reunification point for parents and students, the Sheriff's Department said.
Undersheriff Tim Murakami tweeted an apology to parents, saying investigators need to interview "every student at Saugus HS" before they can be released.
In a statement, the White House said President Donald Trump was monitoring ongoing reports about the shooting, however Trump did not state any remarks or state his condolences regarding the tragic incident. The White House only sent out the following.
"The White House encourages all those in the area to follow the advice of local law enforcement and first responders," the statement said.
California's Governor, Gavin Newsom tweeted an expression of gratitude to the emergency responders.
"We simply should not have to fear for our kids' lives when we drop them off at school," the governor said. Addressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Newsom asked: "How many more lives will be lost? How many more shootings will we have to endure? We need common sense gun reform. NOW."
Amid the chaos at the scene, the number of reported victims fluctuated throughout the morning. The sheriff later confirmed that six people were shot, including the gunman.