Another Day, A Different School Shooting.


Image of a thumbtack on the area of the Saugus High School shooting. Photography by: Sarah Tran.

Sarah Tran, Managing Editor

Abandoned backpacks, notebooks sprawled on the ground, and hundreds of children and parents hugging as they reunite once more, this is the scene that lays out in front of America on November 14th, 2019. Before the school day had started for most students, another school shooting occurred in the United States, this time at Saugus High School located in Santa Clarita, California. This now marks the 18th school shooting and the 366th mass shooting in the U.S. this year.

Off duty personnel, Detective Daniel Finn, was dropping off a family member at the high school when he saw students running away from the gunshots; he immediately turned around in the direction of the sounds of screaming and shots to help. Within seconds of Finn entering the high school, off duty officers Shawn Yanez from Inglewood Police Department and Officer Gus Ramirez from Los Angeles Police Department followed as well. 

“Within seconds, we received multiple calls and within two minutes at 7:40, our first units arrived on scene and encountered the quad area of the school” states Los Angeles County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva. On scene, police had found six wounded students in total “who were promptly triaged and transported to… local hospitals for treatment.” Of those six students transported, Santa Clarita police soon realized that one student who had turned 16-years-old that day, was the shooter himself when identified by nearby witnesses and confirmed through videotape evidence. Captain Kent Wegener of the Santa Clarita Police Department shares that the student had pulled a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol from his backpack and shot five students in the quad before turning the gun on himself. Wegener also stated that it took all of 16 seconds from start to finish for the shooting to occur. 

It was later revealed to the public that a 16-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy died in the hospital that same day while a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl, and a 14-year-old boy lie wounded, but not in critical condition. Two female students interviewed by ABC News expressed that “it felt like it was three minutes but in reality it was only five seconds” in the midst of realizing that their school was under attack. 

Wegener also heavily states that when retrieving the suspect’s weapon, “it had no more rounds in it. It had no more bullets.”

Saugus High School locked down, made partial evacuations, and had a shelter in place in parts of the school while the other surrounding schools nearby were placed on lock down. Later, William S. Hart Union High School District confirms that there will be no school on Friday for their school district, in the wake of the tragic event. Until now, the suspect is in custody, police have no idea as to what or if the student had a motive, and have conducted a search warrant for the student’s home.