A California student who turned 16 years old today was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for treatment after allegedly carrying out a shooting at his high school that killed two classmates and injured three others, before turning the gun on himself.
The shooting was reported at 7.38am Pacific Time at Saugus High School on Centurion Way in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
During a press conference this afternoon, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva revealed that officers were responded to the school within two minutes of getting the first 911 call found six students suffering from gunshot wounds, among them the suspected shooter.
According to law enforcement, surveillance video from the school showed the accused gunman pulling a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol from his backpack, firing on five people and then shooting himself in the head.
The 16-year-old boy was taken to the hospital, where he is listed in grave condition.
A female student, aged 16, has died of her injuries, along with a 14-year-old male student.
The surviving victims were described as two girls, ages 14 and 15, and a boy aged 14.
Officers seized the purposed murder weapon, which had no rounds left in it.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, at podium, and other police, fire and school officials hold a news conference about the fatal shooting at Saugus High School
Students are comforted as they wait to be reunited with their parents following a deadly shooting at Saugus High School
Emotional scene played out outside the Saugus High School campus Thursday morning
SWAT officers were seen storming a house in Santa Clarita, California, near Saugus High School where a mass shooting took place this morning, leaving two students dead
This photo from video provided by KTLA-TV shows law enforcement personnel outside a home on Sycamore Creek Drive during the manhunt for the suspected school shooter
Many students were in tears or on their phone with their loved ones during the Saugus High School evacuation Thursday morning
Students and parents are pictured at a reunification center following the fatal school shooting Thursday morning in Santa Clarita
Students at Saugus High School wept while being escorted out of the school Thursday
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed 15-year-old suspect’s capture in a tweet
Officials searched the family home of the suspect on Sycamore Creek Drive in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
They are planning to execute a search warrant at the residence to collect possible evidence.
Sheriff Villanueva said the suspect’s mother and girlfriend are cooperating with the investigation.
Los Angeles County Undersheriff Tim Murakami tweeted that rumors have been circulating that the shooter may have posted threats on social media.
‘If you ever learn of posted threats please notify us ASAP. It will result in an immediate investigation,’ he wrote. ‘We have successfully prevented possible acts of violence as a result of such reports.’
A childhood friend of the suspect described the 16-year-old, whom he identified to KTLA5 only by his first name, Nathaniel, as friendly and quiet.
Ella Cabigting is embraced by her father Emerson as they reunite after the shooting
He revealed that the alleged gunman lost his father about a year ago.
The former friend, who said he has not talked to Nathaniel in several years, also said the teen’s late father had made his own bullets in his garage.
Philip Germain, a Saugus High School alum, told KTLA he is organizing a vigil for those hurt in the school shooting, which will take place at 7pm on Sunday.
The Signal reported that one student was shot in the torso and treated by a teacher a classroom.
One of the victims was found wounded in the school choir room.
Television images showed sheriff’s deputies swarming the school and several people being moved on gurneys.
Gunfire erupted inside Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, Thursday morning
People are lead out of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday
Paramedics are seen administering aid to one of the shooting victims on school campus
Ambulances are parked outside of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting
Lines of students were escorted away from the school by armed deputies.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office sent out a tweet earlier saying officers were searching to a male suspect in dark clothing.
A student called Alexa who heard gunshots before she was evacuated with her class said she and other students just ran for their lives.
She said she didn’t hear of any warnings before the alarm went off regarding a student or know who the suspect may be.
‘I heard the first gunshot which , I felt like I was running for my life, at this moment I prayed that everyone was ok and safe
‘We never heard of any threats or problems this suddenly happened, now we’re here getting evacuated from our school not knowing when we will be able to come back
She added: ‘It’s a sad world we live in’ and one which cannot be controlled.’
A mother of a student at the school tearfully told KTLA her daughter called her earlier, saying that a girl burst into their classroom after being shot and other students jumped into actions, trying to stop the bleeding.
A student named Riley told KTLA5 that she was standing with friends by the library on campus when she heard four to five gunshots and started running.
One student described how his heroic teacher sprang into action as soon as he heard gunshots. Mason Peters told KTLA: ‘We heard this distinctive sound outside and my teacher quickly sprang to his feet, got up, locked the door, asked one of the students to get the keys.
People wait for students and updates outside of Saugus High School, where one student was killed
Students and others wait outside a reunification center in Santa Clarita, California
A police officer stands guard as students wait to reunite with their parents
Sheriff’s deputies stand outside Saugus High School after the fatal shooting in Santa Clarita
‘We got a bunch of desks, turned off all the lights and reinforced the doors and we all just stayed hidden.’
One student who was on his way to school when the shooting happened, said officials there had an emergency drill in the last month.
Student Mason Peters said his heroic teacher spring into action after hearing gunshots and locked the classroom door
He told KTLA: ‘I was going to school when it happened, and I heard three shots and people started running. It was chaotic,
‘My sister is still in the school, she is still in the choir room and I’m waiting for her to come out.
‘We’ve had all these drills many times, they wanted us about this happening, it’s so surreal, it never felt this real
We definitely had one in the last month or so. For the most part it’s duck and cover and block.’
The mother of student Anthony Peters told NBC he was still on lockdown inside the school but had texted that he was uninjured.
‘One of the teachers said, “There is an active shooter. I heard the shots and saw three kids get shot,”‘ Peters’ mother told NBC.
Some of the wounded were being treated in a grassy area on the school’s campus, the Los Angeles Times reported. At least one injured person was found in the school’s choir room, authorities told the newspaper.
Many students arrive at school later at around 7.55am as they don’t have a first period on Thursday.
A student named Sean said he was training with his team and coach when they immediately locked themselves in a room. When they reinforced the door their coach led them in prayer as they stood in a circle with their hands joined.
Sean said: ‘I was walking towards the quad where it happened, I heard the shots so I rang back to the room where I was.
‘We were all texting our parents and telling them we’re ok, we were trying to keep quiet and not make noise. We weren’t sure until our coach got a call, and they cleared the building out. After that I felt safe.’
His mom, Mercedes, said she was relieved to have her son back. She said: ‘It’s just relief, there is no real sense of knowing your child is safe until you have them in your arms. I’m just trying to calm down no. He’ll be my baby forever.’
Sean added: ‘I don’t know why these things happen, they just do. We ended up all joining hands and praying, and the comfort of knowing we were there .They took us to the gym, I love my mom so much and I didn’t know what to do.
‘We settled down and we went through it together.’
A mother of one student who was outside the school said the kids have regular drills to prepare for an active shooter situation.
Students at Saugus High School are talking about hearing shots and running for their lives
A girl in one flip-flop is being led away from the high school by a police officer
Students are seen on school buses during the Saugus High School evacuation
She told an ABC7 reporter: ‘They do multiple drills, and I always said I hate that this is the new normal but I see why now. The kids know [what to do], they should hide, shelter in place, or run if you can.
One of the students who was there with his mom claimed: ‘I know if you’re in a classroom you should just stay if there’s a teacher, if you’re already outside and really close to an exit, you should try and run but if you’re not close to an exit, you should duck into the nearest class
‘We have done lockdown drills and stuff.’
Two sisters who were outside the school with their mom appeared shaken as they told how they were reunited when the building was evacuated.
One of the girls named Emily told KTLA: ‘I never looked back, we just all kept running and people were looking for their loved ones. Everyone worked as a community it was very surprising.
‘I was like panicking the whole time, I was like my sister is in the classroom, I hope she’s ok
This map shows the location of the high school on Centurion Way in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles
At least five people were said to have been wounded in the school shooting Thursday
At least one person was said to have been shot in the abdomen
‘She’s here now and she was hiding, she was texting that she was so scared and it was so crazy.’
Her mom told of her terror as Emily text her saying there was a shooter in the building and she immediately rushed to the scene where she waited for news.
She said: ‘She was texting me saying there is a shooter, I was like what I couldn’t believe. It hits home so it’s been really hard, I got in my car and drove right to my school, I waited and waited and finally my daughter came running out to me
‘It was the best thing ever, she was one of the first classes let out. I found out my other daughter was with her girlfriend and mom which was like a relief.’
‘My daughter Sarah told me “mom, I’m so scared, I love you so much, please come, please come and that just killed me
‘You don’t know where they are, if they are safe, it’s so scary, I’m so glad.’
The students were brought to the Church of Latter day saints across from the high school. From there, they were taken away from the scene to Central Park where a reunification center was set up and they were being picked up by their parents.
It is understood law enforcement are trying to find out which students witnessed the incident for future legal proceedings.
The high school and other schools in the surrounding area, including Rosedell and Highland elementary schools, were placed on lockdown, which has since been lifted in the wake of the suspect’s capture.
Police are seen on a street descending on a home believed to be linked to the suspect
A police cruiser is seen outside the address connected to the alleged shooter
Earlier, police officers were seen surrounding a home on Sycamore Creek Drive, believed to be somehow linked to the suspect.
People are being urged to the avoid the area during the manhunt and nearby residents are being asked to lock their doors and shelter in place.
White House spokesman Judd Deere says President Donald Trump is monitoring the reports of the school shooting.
Deere says in a statement that those in the area are encouraged ‘to follow the advice of local law enforcement and first responders.’
Democrat congressman Tim Ryan, who represents Ohio, reacted with shock at the latest school shooting incident.
In a Tweet he claimed: ‘My heart breaks for Saugus High School and the Santa Clarita community. How many more, @senatemajldr Mitch McConnell? Our children cannot keep living like this. The Senate needs to #DoSomething, we need to take action on gun violence.
Presidential candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris also tweeted: ‘heartbroken and praying for Santa Clarita. I’m incredibly grateful to the first responders who are on the scene of this active situation.
‘If you are near the area, please listen to law enforcement. Our children and communities are being terrorized. We can’t accept this.’
Senator Dianne Feinstein urged the public to comply with emergency notices and said she was monitoring the ongoing situation.
California House Representative Katie Porter said her heart broke for families and students affected by the shooting and called for measures to control gun violence.
In a tweet she claimed: ‘My heart breaks for our neighbors in Santa Clarita and our children, who have to grow up in a world where they can’t go to school without fear. This. Must. End. It is past time for our Senate and our President to say #EnoughIsEnough. They can start by passing H.R.8 into law.