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Santa Clarita Shooting Updates: Several Injured at High School Santa Clarita Shooting Updates: 1 Dead and Several Injured at Saugus High School
(32 minutes later)
A shooting at a high school in Santa Clarita, Calif., on Thursday morning left several people injured, authorities said. A shooting at a high school in Santa Clarita, Calif., on Thursday morning left one person dead and several others injured, authorities said.
Local news reports put the number of injured victims between three and seven. The Associated Press, citing Los Angeles County authorities, said six injuries were reported, and television stations showed people being loaded into ambulances outside the school, Saugus High School.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County told NBC in Los Angeles that all of the victims were students and that the gunman was also a member of the student body.Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County told NBC in Los Angeles that all of the victims were students and that the gunman was also a member of the student body.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, which serves Santa Clarita Valley, said that it had received four victims after the shooting, with three a female and two males in critical condition, and one male in good condition. The Associated Press, citing Los Angeles County authorities, said six injuries were reported.
Images from the scene at Saugus High School showed paramedics transporting the wounded on stretchers, outdoor tables littered with the backpacks of students who had fled, and tear-filled reunions between parents and students.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, which serves Santa Clarita Valley, said that it had received four patients after the shooting, one, a female died, and two males were in critical condition. One male was in good condition.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department urged people to avoid the area.The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department urged people to avoid the area.
A suspect was in custody and being treated at a hospital, according Sheriff Villanueva. All the middle and high schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District, as well as neighboring elementary schools, were being locked down, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said.A suspect was in custody and being treated at a hospital, according Sheriff Villanueva. All the middle and high schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District, as well as neighboring elementary schools, were being locked down, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said.
A weapon has been recovered, said Sgt. Bob Boese, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, though he would not offer any details about the type. He said he did not know if the gunman was carrying more than one weapon.A weapon has been recovered, said Sgt. Bob Boese, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, though he would not offer any details about the type. He said he did not know if the gunman was carrying more than one weapon.
At the high school, tucked in a suburban Southern California neighborhood of ranch homes, below brown, rolling hills, a swarm of police, sheriff’s and highway patrol SUV’s surrounded Saugus High School.
Clusters of officers holding long guns stood around a campus where murals read “Californian Distinguished School.”
Samuel Arreaza, 15, a sophomore, said he was about to head into school from across the street when he saw the police cars and his phone started “exploding.” A friend was sheltered in the library. He turned around and stayed in the house. His parents said it was the only time they wouldn’t yell at him for being late.
Samuel said he grew up in Santa Clarita and it was a peaceful, “laid-back” community. The students at Saugus had undergone active shooter drills, and he “grew up knowing this is a thing that happens.”
Now those conversations will be more real.
Jeremy Thompson’s two sons attend Saugus High School, and he said he first learned about the shooting when his younger son, a sophomore, called him early on Thursday morning.Jeremy Thompson’s two sons attend Saugus High School, and he said he first learned about the shooting when his younger son, a sophomore, called him early on Thursday morning.
Mr. Thompson said his older son, a senior, told him by text that he and his classmates had barricaded themselves in a classroom — likely their first period class — and covered up the windows. Later, he and many other students were moved to a gymnasium by school staff, Mr. Thompson said.Mr. Thompson said his older son, a senior, told him by text that he and his classmates had barricaded themselves in a classroom — likely their first period class — and covered up the windows. Later, he and many other students were moved to a gymnasium by school staff, Mr. Thompson said.
Cellphone reception was spotty, and Mr. Thompson said he was only getting updates from his sons intermittently — terse texts that seemed to understate the gravity of the moment.Cellphone reception was spotty, and Mr. Thompson said he was only getting updates from his sons intermittently — terse texts that seemed to understate the gravity of the moment.
“You would expect them to be more affected, but it’s just the reality that has plagued kids for so many years at this point,” he said.“You would expect them to be more affected, but it’s just the reality that has plagued kids for so many years at this point,” he said.
The sophomore told his father that there had been shots fired at school and that he was walking away from the building toward his mother’s house nearby.The sophomore told his father that there had been shots fired at school and that he was walking away from the building toward his mother’s house nearby.
“Kids today, they never call, so you get this call, and you automatically wonder what it’s going to be,” Mr. Thompson said in an interview from a parent reunification center nearby. He had been at the school the night before to see one of his sons performing in a theater production of “Shakespeare in Love,” where everyone had been celebrating a successful show.“Kids today, they never call, so you get this call, and you automatically wonder what it’s going to be,” Mr. Thompson said in an interview from a parent reunification center nearby. He had been at the school the night before to see one of his sons performing in a theater production of “Shakespeare in Love,” where everyone had been celebrating a successful show.
“And then I come here this morning and see a bunch of them huddled together in tears,” he said of their peers.“And then I come here this morning and see a bunch of them huddled together in tears,” he said of their peers.
Mr. Thompson, a former Democratic staffer, said that as the names of shooting sites around the country stack up — Parkland, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas — he had just wished Santa Clarita would not be added to the list.Mr. Thompson, a former Democratic staffer, said that as the names of shooting sites around the country stack up — Parkland, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas — he had just wished Santa Clarita would not be added to the list.
“You just hope against hope that it’s not going to hit your school or your kids,” he said.“You just hope against hope that it’s not going to hit your school or your kids,” he said.
Mass shootings have been occurring across the country with increasing frequency. Here are some attacks that took place in California in recent years.Mass shootings have been occurring across the country with increasing frequency. Here are some attacks that took place in California in recent years.
Orinda, Oct. 31, 2019: Five people were killed and several injured at a Halloween party held at a home rented through Airbnb in the San Francisco suburb.
Long Beach, Oct. 30, 2019: Three men were fatally shot and at least nine other people were injured at a Halloween house party when a gunman opened fire on the gathering from an alley.Long Beach, Oct. 30, 2019: Three men were fatally shot and at least nine other people were injured at a Halloween house party when a gunman opened fire on the gathering from an alley.
Gilroy, July 28, 2019: A man with an assault-style rifle opened fire at a festival, killing three people and wounding 13 others, and then died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after exchanging gunfire with police officers.Gilroy, July 28, 2019: A man with an assault-style rifle opened fire at a festival, killing three people and wounding 13 others, and then died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after exchanging gunfire with police officers.
Thousand Oaks, Nov. 7, 2018: A man set off smoke bombs to create confusion at the Borderline Bar, a country music venue, then shot a security guard at the entrance and opened fire into the crowd inside the bar, killing 12 people. He was found dead at the scene.Thousand Oaks, Nov. 7, 2018: A man set off smoke bombs to create confusion at the Borderline Bar, a country music venue, then shot a security guard at the entrance and opened fire into the crowd inside the bar, killing 12 people. He was found dead at the scene.
Rancho Tehama Reserve, Nov. 14, 2017: A gunman rampaged through a small community, firing at an elementary school and several other locations, killing at least four and wounding at least 10, before he was fatally shot by the police.Rancho Tehama Reserve, Nov. 14, 2017: A gunman rampaged through a small community, firing at an elementary school and several other locations, killing at least four and wounding at least 10, before he was fatally shot by the police.
San Diego, April 30, 2017: A man fired a gun at a poolside party while talking on a cellphone with an ex-girlfriend, killing one person and injuring at least six, before the police shot and killed him.San Diego, April 30, 2017: A man fired a gun at a poolside party while talking on a cellphone with an ex-girlfriend, killing one person and injuring at least six, before the police shot and killed him.
San Bernardino, Dec. 2, 2015: A heavily armed man and woman killed at least 14 people and wounded at least 17 at a social services center before dying in a shootout with police.San Bernardino, Dec. 2, 2015: A heavily armed man and woman killed at least 14 people and wounded at least 17 at a social services center before dying in a shootout with police.
Isla Vista, Calif., May 23, 2014: After stabbing three men to death in his apartment, a college student methodically opened fire on bystanders, killing three more and wounding 13.Isla Vista, Calif., May 23, 2014: After stabbing three men to death in his apartment, a college student methodically opened fire on bystanders, killing three more and wounding 13.
Santa Monica, June 7, 2013: Four people were killed and five wounded as a gunman walked through Santa Monica with an assault-style rifle, firing at people, cars, a public bus and buildings before being shot and killed by the police.Santa Monica, June 7, 2013: Four people were killed and five wounded as a gunman walked through Santa Monica with an assault-style rifle, firing at people, cars, a public bus and buildings before being shot and killed by the police.
Heather Tal Murphy contributed reporting. Lockdown drills to prepare for shootings or other disasters have become ubiquitous in American schools; 95 percent of schools held them in 2015-2016, according to the federal government.
Mental health experts have begun to raise concerns about the potential of such drills, some of which are eerily realistic, to scare or even traumatize children.
At Glencoe High School in Alabama this week, the sound of gunshots rang out and students jumped out windows in a mock escape. Student actors were strapped to stretchers and loaded into waiting ambulances.
In Jefferson County, Colorado — home to Columbine High School — teachers were recently given buckets and kitty litter, which could be used as toilets in the case of an extended lockdown.
Teachers in West Virginia have reported that so-called “code red” drills are sometimes held without their or their students’ prior knowledge — so that they are never sure whether the terrifying threat is real.
School safety is a $2.7 billion industry, with districts purchasing increasingly sophisticated technology. Some schools require visitors to scan their driver’s license or thumbprint, or submit to a facial scan.
But despite the crushing tragedy of what seems like an endless string of school shootings, schools remain among the safest places for American children, who are less likely to die there than at home or in their neighborhoods. School safety experts say the most important emergencies for schools to prepare for are those that are more regular occurrences: traffic accidents, weather disasters, thefts, assaults and child abductions linked to custody battles.
Some of the measures that could prevent those events, such as locking external and internal doors and signing in guests, can also help prevent or mitigate school shootings.
Heather Tal Murphy, Dana Goldstein and Pat Lyons contributed reporting.