Two teenagers were killed and at least three others injured in a school shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. Police said the suspected shooter is now in custody and being treated at a nearby hospital. The suspect is a student at the high school and is in "grave condition," police said.
A Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesperson said firefighters first responded to the shooting before 8 a.m., reports ABC7. The school was still on lockdown for hours after the incident. Lockdowns were ordered at nearby schools in the district, but were lived by 11 a.m. All six victims were taken to nearby hospitals, with four being treated at Henry Mayo Hospital.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the first victim was a 16-year-old girl. A second victim was a 14-year-old boy, reports the Associated Press. The other victims are 15 and 14-year-old girls, and a 14-year-old boy. Their names have not been released.
A brief manhunt was launched after the shooting. Armed deputies were seen going to one house, but it was not clear how the house was connected to the shooting. Villanueva told ABC7 the suspect is a student at the school and was being treated in a nearby hospital.
The circumstances behind the suspect's apprehension were not made available, but police told The New York Times that Thursday was his 16th birthday. According to authorities, he carried the weapon, a handgun, in his backpack and shot the victims before he turned the gun on himself. A weapon was recovered, but Sgt. Bob Boese, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, did not reveal the type of weapon. It was also not known if the suspect carried more than one weapon.
Students described a chaotic scene when the gunfire began.
"We heard the first gunshot, and we all thought it was a balloon popping, but it was too loud for a balloon to pop," sophomore Brooklyn Moreno told ABC7. "Then it went one, two and we all just started running and people were falling in front of me, and I ran across the street to someone's house and stayed there till my parents picked me up."
Moreno told the outlet it was difficult to figure out where the gunfire was coming from, adding, "(The sound of gunfire) felt like towards me in the quad, but I heard it was somewhere else towards the choir room, but I have no clue."
"I heard the second and third (gunshot) and then I knew it was gunfire," student Alexa Funk added. "There were kids running everywhere... I saw people falling to the floor. I also fell and got a little thing on my knee."
The White House issued a statement that President Donald Trump was monitoring the situation. Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted he was grateful for the first responders and called on Washington to enact new gun reforms now.
"Grateful for the first responders in Santa Clarita today. We simply should not have to fear for our kids' lives when we drop them off at school," Newsom wrote. "[Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] — how many more lives will be lost? How many more shootings will we have to endure? We need commonsense gun reform. NOW."
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