Two students, including a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, have been killed and four others injured in a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif. this morning.
A 16-year-old Asian male suspect, whose birthday is today, is among those injured and has been hospitalized in custody, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has confirmed.
According to eyewitness reports, the suspect withdrew a 45-caliber semi-automatic pistol from his backpack and shot five students before shooting himself in the head. The suspect is in grave condition, police said in a live press conference.
“We are confident now we have the right person,” Villanueva told Fox News. “We’ll have a clearer picture as the day progresses.”
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department responded to the shooting, and discovered the alleged shooter was among those students injured in the incident, which occurred at 7:30 a.m., 20 minutes before classes were to begin.
One 14-year-old boy and two girls, ages 14 and 15, were also injured. The wounded were transported to nearby Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.
Police have executed a search warrant and are currently investigating the suspect’s home on the 22900 block of Sycamore Creek Drive for clues in the shooting.
“We have several people who have witnessed this and we are going to be talking to them,” Santa Clarita Valley Police Capt. Robert Lewis said at the press conference.
Santa Clarita is the third largest city in L.A. County with about 294,000 residents. The school is located between Interstate 5 and Interstate 14.
All schools in the district were on lockdown this morning, but have now been cleared.
Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean, whose granddaughter was at the school this morning, said she was deeply worried about the safety of all students when news of the shooting broke.
“I just want every single family to know … our hearts are with you,” she said.
Paul Delacourt, FBI Assistant Agent in charge of the investigation, said there are “no known additional threats” at the school or any other schools in the area.
Delacourt said a “social media scrub” will be conducted because of alleged threats posted online in connection to the shooting, and that the FBI’s cyber division is involved in the investigation.
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence told news reporters this morning that the Trump administration remains “resolved to bring the scourge of mass shootings to an end.”
Grief counselors will be available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Activity Center for those traumatized by the horrific incident, authorities said.
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Author: Brad Jones