Things That Matter

A Gunman Opened Fire On A Santa Clarita High School And Here’s Everything We Know

One person is dead and at least three others are injured, two of them critically, after a shooting at a Southern California high school Thursday morning, officials said.

The shooting began at before 8 a.m. before classes had started, while many students were on their way to the school.

The shooting began before classes started, with authorities starting to get calls about shots fired at 7:38 a.m., Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.

Adam Eichensehr, another sophomore, told ABC7 he received a text from his friends telling him not to go to school because they heard gunshots.

“At first I didn’t believe it. … then I saw cops, and so I stopped and I called my mom and she told me to come straight home,” he said. “All my friends I’ve come in contact with are OK for now.”

Police had tweeted out a warning to the community before they had located the suspect.

The Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s office tweeted just before 8 a.m. local time to avoid the area of Saugus High School, which is in the county of Los Angeles, about 40 miles north of the city of Los Angeles. Minutes later, the office said people were reporting that shots had been fired at the school.

“This is an active shooter situation,” a tweet from the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s office said before the suspect was located. “If you live in neighborhoods anywhere near Saugus High, PLEASE LOCK DOORS and stay inside. If you see suspect, male dark clothing, in backyards, etc. CALL 911.”

“Parents, deputies are on scene everywhere protecting your children,” a tweet from the sheriff’s office said.

So far two victims have died from their wounds and three others remain in the hospital.

Five victims were being transported to Henry Mayo Hospital, which says that three of them — two males and one female — arrived in critical condition. The female patient later died. Another male patient was in good condition and a fifth patient was still en route, according to the hospital.

Terrified students have started sharing their harrowing stories.

Student Sharon Orelana Cordova told NBC Los Angeles that she was doing homework when she saw people running so she started running too. “When I got out, I saw this person lying down on the ground, and I saw blood all over. It was really scary, I was really really scared. I didn’t know what was going on,” she said.

Saugus was placed on lockdown as were neighboring elementary schools and all of the schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District, officials said.

Aerial video showed students with their hands raised, being escorted by deputies away from the school of about 2,300 students, NBC Los Angeles reported. They were transported from the campus on school buses with armed deputies on board.

An area was set up for parents to reunify with students at a park about three miles from the school.

Politicians and celebrities were quick to condemn the violence on social media.

Several of the leading candidates for the 2020 Democratic primary took to Twitter to share their grief but to also make renewed calls for increased gun control.

Bernie Sanders said: “This must end. Children in America should not live in fear for their lives at school or anywhere else. We have a moral obligation to say: children’s lives are more important than gun manufacturers’ profits. We must pass common sense gun safety legislation.”

While California’s Governor Gavin Newsome tweeted at the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel: “how many more lives will be lost? How many more shootings will we have to endure? We need commonsense gun reform. NOW.”

The Santa Clarita shooting marks the 366th mass shooting in the US just this year.

At least 30 shooting attacks on school grounds have occurred in 2019 resulting in deaths or injuries, according to gun safety group Everytown.

At least 11 people have died in fatal shooting attacks this year, according to Everytown’s research. 

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, a non-profit founded in 2006, tracks incidents of gun violence across the United States. Included in its count of gun violence on schools are any incident in which a live round is fired inside or into a school building or on a school’s campus.

The group says there have been a total of 84 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2019. There were 104 in 2018.

Of the incidents this year, 10 fatal incidents, including Thursday’s, involved attacks on others. There were other shootings that caused injury or death that involved those that died by suicide, a round that accidentally went off, attacks not targeting students or domestic incidents

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