Student Opens Fire at California High School

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Student Opens Fire at California High School

By Alexa Soroka, Senior Editor

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A 16-year old gunman opened fire at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California on Nov. 14, 2019, killing two and wounding three before attempting to take his own life.

The shooter, suspected to be student Nathaniel Berhow, smuggled a .45 caliber pistol into his backpack on that Tuesday morning, also the day of his 16th birthday.

Berhow began shooting around 7:38 am and experienced a quick malfunction with his weapon, but cleared it easily.

Even with a blunder, it took the suspect merely 16 seconds to send bullets into five of his classmates, before turning the gun on himself.

Those shot and Berhow himself were sent to a nearby hospital, where two victims were pronounced dead, including a 15-year old girl, Grace Anne Muehlberger, and a 14-year-old boy.

Among the three teens injured by bullet wounds, two girls are recovering and can leave the hospital soon. The other, a 14-year old boy, left Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on Thursday. The gunman remains in grave condition.

“I probably wouldn’t have heard about the shooting unless someone in class mentioned it,” says Senior Logan Espardinez.

Espardinez believes that Americans have become desensitized to school shootings since they occur so often.

Upon searching the suspect’s home, the police department found a total of six firearms, all belonging to Berhow’s late father.

Berhow lived with his mother, as his father, an avid hunter, passed away two years ago.

He was described by his classmates as a smart, quiet boy, and there has been no previous knowledge that the suspect had been bullied.

An unknown Instagram account posted a day prior to the incident, “Saugus, have fun at school tomorrow.” However, the account has not been linked with the suspect.

Amidst the chaos, the Santa Clarita community has banded together to mourn such a tragedy.

Many attended nighttime prayer service following the shooting and joined at Central Park to reunite students with parents following the school’s lockdown.