1 Dead, Several Injured In Shooting At Saugus High School In Santa Clarita
At least one person is dead and several others injured after a student opened fire at a high school in Southern California on Thursday morning, authorities said.
Police said they responded to a report of an active shooter situation at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita around 7:30 a.m. local time.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department initially said the suspect, described as an Asian male student in dark clothing, was on the loose. About 90 minutes later, law enforcement officials reported that the suspect was in custody.
Earlier, live video showed officers surrounding a home in a residential neighborhood near the school. The sheriff’s department told HuffPost that the residence was an “area of interest.”
The person killed was a female student, reported Henry Mayo Hospital in Valencia, California, which has been treating victims of the shooting. Three males are still being treated. Two are in critical condition.
All of the victims are students, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told NBC Los Angeles.
A resident who declined to give her name said she and her neighbors had been ordered to lock their doors and stay inside.
“I was shocked when I looked out and saw all the police,” the woman told HuffPost. “We don’t normally see stuff like this.”
The woman said police were searching the backyard of a home across the street from her.
The high school, located about 40 miles north of Los Angeles, was evacuated and nearby Highlands Elementary and Rosedale Elementary schools were placed on lockdown as police searched for the suspect.
Students were seen on video leaving the school with their hands in the air, escorted by authorities. In the same video, several people were seen being loaded onto gurneys and into ambulances.
Saugus High School student Mason Peters described how his teacher and classmates jumped into action to lock down their classroom after hearing gunfire.
“All of a sudden, we hear this distinctive sound outside so my teacher quickly sprang to his feet, got up, locked the door, asking the students to get the keys,” he told CBS Los Angeles. “Then we turned off all the lights … and reinforced the doors and we all just stayed hidden
Saugus High School serves about 2,500 students in grades nine through 12. Authorities have set up a reunification point for parents and students at Central Park in Santa Clarita, roughly one mile away from the high school.
“It’s one of my worst nightmares as sheriff,” Villanueva said. “We all embrace our kids in the morning and send them off to school … but you never know what someone is plotting.”
“It’s a sad reality of modern life, with these active shooters at schools,” he added.
Julie Olsen, board president of the Saugus Union School District, asked the public to keep her community “and all impacted in your thoughts.”
Former Rep. Katie Hill, a graduate of Saugus High School, was reportedly in her backyard in the Saugus neighborhood of Santa Clarita when she saw helicopters overhead.
“I’m absolutely horrified that it’s happening at my school,” she told The Los Angeles Times.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement that he’s closely monitoring the situation and extended his “thoughts to the parents, families and friends of the students and faculty, and the Santa Clarita community.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said President Donald Trump is monitoring the situation in Santa Clarita.