SANTA CLARITA, CA — Panic-stricken parents, rattled residents, schools placed on lockdown.
This was the situation Thursday morning in Santa Clarita, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles.
A 16-year old student at Saugus High School opened fire on campus around 7:40 AM, just before classes started.
At least two were killed and several others were wounded, some of whom are in critical condition.
The shooter is described as an Asian male, who was dressed in black and carried a 45-caliber semi-automatic pistol.
Reports of the shooting prompted a massive and immediate response by law enforcement and school officials. Students who were taken to a reunification center at a local park after the lockdown said they heard a loud bang, causing panic and triggering protocol based on the mass shooting training practiced every semester.
By 9:45 am, local reports said that the suspect was taken in to custody and was taken to a local hospital for treatments.
Law enforcement immediately took to social media to alert the community —especially the parents on the situation.
Attorney Ed Allan Lindain just dropped off his son to his elementary school when he got word from his older daughter that there was a shooting a nearby high school.
“We got scared. We got terrified. We immediately got in contact with the school. The elementary school has been in close contact with the parents of the children.”
Schools around the area, including Lindain’s son’s elementary campus was placed on lockdown, while the suspect was still at large.
“During the time that the suspect was still at large, everyone here in the community was very nervous and we were really scared… now that the suspect is in custody, there’s a sigh of relief for all of us but the whole community is still grieving with what happened.”
Lindain said this ‘new norm’ of mass shootings — even in the safest neighborhoods — in deeply concerning.
“Santa Clarita has always been a peace-loving community. We take pride in the peace and order situation here. For this thing to happen is really terrifying.”
Ant-gun violence organizations reported that Thursday’s incident is the 38th shooting at an American elementary or secondary school with injury or death in 2019 alone.