A 16-year-old female student was shot dead and several other individuals were injured at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, Thursday after a suspect who is now in police custody shot them, then shot himself in the head, police said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed on Twitter that the “suspect is in custody and being treated at a local hospital.” While Henry Mayo Hospital confirmed the death of the female student on Twitter.
According to CBS Los Angeles, three more males were being treated at Henry Mayo Hospital. Two of them were in critical condition and the third was in good condition.
Police told the network that the suspect ran west towards Highlands Elementary School after the shooting, which occurred at about 7:30 a.m. He has been described as a 16-year-old Asian male and today was his birthday.
Police say they received a 911 call at 7:38 a.m. about a shooting at Saugus High School. Police arrived within two minutes and found six students in the quad suffering from gunshot wounds. They reviewed surveillance video which clearly shows the suspect walk onto the school's quad, pull a gun from his backpack and shot 5 students. He then shot himself in the head.
Hannah Schooping-Gutierrez, 15, told the Los Angeles Times that she started racing for the main entrance of the school after hearing the shots. She was soon joined by a number of other students racing away from the school’s quad “fearing for their lives, with facial expressions that I’ve never seen before.”
“When I go home I’m going to cry,” Schooping-Gutierrez said. “Right now, I feel like I need to be strong for my parents.”
“I was in class just doing my work as usual and all of a sudden I heard loud pops, loud bangs … two seconds later there were people sprinting, screaming … two students came into our room saying someone has a gun, so we locked the room,” another student named Shauna told CBS2.
Mason Peters said his teacher quickly sprang into action as the gunshots rang out.
“(He) got up, locked the door, asked one of the students to get the keys. So we reinforced it. Turned off all the lights. Then we got a bunch of desks and stuff and reinforced the doors. And then we all stayed hidden,” Peters said.
A parent only identified as Lisa told CBS2 that her son was on his way to school when the shooting occurred and his friends warned him to stay away.
“He was walking to school about 7:30…He called me and said that his friends called him and told him not to come to school because he heard gunshots,” she explained.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris from California, a Democratic presidential candidate, offered prayers for the victims in a statement on Twitter.
“It is truly outrageous that at the very same time the Santa Clarita school shooting was happening, Senate Republicans—led by Mitch McConnell—refused to pass gun safety legislation. Congress and Trump must finally have the courage to stand up to the NRA. Enough is enough!” added Sen. Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential candidate in a statement on Twitter.
White House spokesman Judd Deere told The Associated Press that President Donald Trump was also monitoring reports on the incident.