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Student gunman, Nathaniel Berhow, pulled semi-pistol out of his backpack on his 16th birthday and shot five classmates in CA high school, killing two, before attempting suicide

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Nathaniel Berhow, 16,  is suspected of gunning down classmates at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles from Los Angeles, California, on Thursday morning
Berhow was taken into custody and rushed to hospital where he is in a grave condition from self-inflicted gunshot injuries after the deadly shooting at his High School
A 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy died. Two girls, ages 14 and 15, and a 14-year-old boy were hospitalized 
Surveillance captured the Berhow pulling pistol from his backpack, firing at his five classmates and then shooting himself with the final bullet 
Berhow, who was initially mistaken for a victim, is in hospital in a grave condition
The school was locked down and witness descriptions and surveillance footage identified the suspect within an hour of the shooting 
Officers went to his home and his mother and girlfriend are assisting detectives with their investigation 
Nathaniel Berhow 1On his 16th birthday, Nathaniel Berhow pulled a gun out of his backpack and opened fire at his California high school, killing two classmates and injuring three others

The 16-year-old student who pulled a gun out of his backpack and opened fire at his California high school, killing two classmates and injuring three others, before attempting suicide has been identified.
Nathaniel Berhow was taken into custody and rushed to hospital where he is in a grave condition after the deadly shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles from Los Angeles, on Thursday morning.
Authorities said they responded to a torrent of 911 calls when the gunfire began at about 7.30am and they found all six students in a quad area within the school.
Surveillance video captured the attacker pulling a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol from his backpack, firing at his five classmates and then shooting himself in the head with the final bullet.
A 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl have died, while two girls, aged 14 and 15, and another 14-year-old boy were injured and remain in hospital.
The gunman, who was initially mistaken for a victim, is also in hospital in a grave condition.
Berhow’s mother, Mami Matasuura, said she was praying her son survived.
‘I don’t even know what to do right now, I am just praying for my son’s life,’ she said.
Authorities are still investigating but a former friend said the 2017 death of Berhow’s father Mark Berhow could have triggered the shooting rampage.

The school was locked down and witness descriptions and surveillance footage identified the suspect within an hour of the shooting. No other suspects are currently being investigated.
After officers went to his home, his mother and girlfriend were seen at a local police station speaking with detectives, while authorities said a search warrant was being obtained for the suspect’s home to collect possible evidence.
Law enforcement sources said at this point in time, they had no indication of motivation or ideology behind the attack.
A childhood friend of Berhow’s – who only identified himself by his first name to KTLA, described him as being quiet and introverted.
Ryan said he knew the suspect in middle school but that he didn’t really socialize.
‘Over the years we stopped talking, there was a disconnect (between us),’ he said, adding he last spoke to the suspect about six years ago.
‘He was doing his own thing. It’s a shock to all of us.’
Ryan said Berhow’s father had died and speculated that his death might have triggered the violence.

 

Jared Axen 1The Berhow family’s next-door neighbor, Jared Axen, [photo], who  knew the suspect since he was a baby, said the shooter’s father was a kind person who was respectful to others
Neighbors claimed Berhow’s father had a passion for guns but it is not clear if the teenager had access to weapons. Mark Berhow was believed to have been an avid hunter. He died in December 2017 of a heart attack, according to his obituary.

The Berhow family’s next-door neighbor, Jared Axen, told KTLA that he had known the suspect since he was a baby and that his father used to go hunting, so firearms ‘weren’t a mystery to him.’
He also said he believed that the suspect was the one who found his father’s body at home when he died.
‘I can’t think of any red flags in our conversation, when he would think of handling his hurt in this manner. He grew up with his father who was a hunter, and this was a normal activity for him.
‘He grew up around firearms, it wasn’t a mystery, he knew how to use it and understood how it worked, he was responsible. He came off as a very responsible person.’
Axen said he had shared interests with Berhow, including air pistols and being in the Boy Scouts at different times.

A Saugus junior named Kayden said the 16-year-old shooting suspect was an athlete, running cross-country, and ‘didn’t talk much’.

He said he was shocked that his classmate has been identified as the suspect, saying he never would have expected him to do that.
Tenth-grader Aidan Soto told the LA Times he had known the suspect through the school’s track team and also via Boy Scouts.
‘I’m bewildered and looking for answers — the question as to why all this would happen,’ Soto said. ‘So many questions no one has the answers to.’
He said Berhow was someone the younger Boy Scouts ‘really looked up to’.
A classmate, Brooke Hougo, said she ran cross country with him and they were in the same AP psychology class.
‘I would have never expected anything like this,’ she said. ‘He was just a quiet kid.’

Students have since detailed how the sound of gunfire sent some running while others and staff followed recently practiced security procedures as the shooting unfolded.
Some students and teachers armed themselves with scissors and even a fire extinguisher to use as a weapon if needed.
The students inside a barricaded choir classroom were huddled in the dark minutes after shots rang out when one them said: ‘I think I got shot.’
Katie Holt, a fine arts teacher, had pushed the piano in the music room against the classroom door, two students in the room told Reuters afterward, and grabbed a fire extinguisher, presumably to use as a weapon.
‘She turned off the lights… She locked all the doors. She pushed the piano to the door, totally barricading,’ said Eddie Mendoza, 17 in a phone interview, his voice still breaking from emotion and grief.
Students outside fled in panic, while those inside ran to safety in classrooms, as they had been repeatedly drilled to do.


One of them was one of the gunman’s victims, Mendoza said.
‘I think I’m bleeding. I think I got shot,’ he recalled her saying. ‘It was just so hard hearing her say ‘I want my mom,’ it was heartbreaking,’ Mendoza said.
Another student who identified herself only as Pamela said Holt retrieved a first aid kit that was in the classroom and began treating the girl’s wounds on her shoulder and torso.
‘Our teacher was very calm and collected,’ Pamela said, adding that the students all remained calm. Even the wounded girl, who remained conscious and alert, kept talking and ‘making jokes to cope with it.’
Mendoza said of the teacher was ‘literally a hero.’
‘We did our best, we called 911 four times, we told them where we were.’
Pamela said roughly 35 students were holed up in Holt’s small office adjacent to the music room for about 29 minutes before they heard police pounding on the barricaded choir room door.

Shooting at Saugus High School on Centurion Way in Santa Clarita, Calif. 2Paramedics perform CPR on student after high school shooting : Paramedics are seen administering aid to one of the shooting victims on school campus

Berhow’s neighbor claimed the alleged shooter grew up around firearms so ‘they weren’t a mystery to him.’ Jared Axen who knew the suspect since he was a baby and that his father and said that he was a kind person who was respectful to others.


Ecksen, a registered nurse, also claimed he believed that the suspect found his father’s body at home when he passed away.
He told KTLA: ‘I can’t think of any red flags in our conversation, when he would think of handling his hurt in this manner. He grew up with his father who was a hunter, and this was a normal activity for him.
‘He grew up around firearms, it wasn’t a mystery, he knew how to use it and understood how it worked, he was responsible. He came off as a very responsible person.’
‘On the outside they were very loving, she [mother] worked hard to make sure the children had a future.
‘At the same time, sometimes you don’t realize how much people love you until you go through these changes.
He added he knew the suspect since he was born and that Thursday’s events were surprising to everyone in the community.
‘He is a quiet person, a kind person, he was respectful how he talked to others.
‘I wish I could just hug him, there is nothing I would really be able to say… I wish I could just give him a hug.’
Jared claimed he had shared interests with the suspect including air pistols and they were also in the boy scouts at different times.
He claimed he had asked his sister how she was and she said they were doing fine.

Kyra Stapp, 17, was watching a documentary in class when she heard two gunshots. Panicked students ran in and reported the shooting.

Stapp´s class and others were herded into a teacher break room where they locked the door and turned off the lights.


Kyra texted her mother and tried not make any noise. They exchanged messages as sirens screamed and helicopters and deputies carrying rifles and shotguns swarmed the campus. Then Kyra fell silent while officers escorted students out.
‘She’s been texting me and all of a sudden she’s not,’ Tracy Stapp said. ‘That was like the worst 10 minutes of my life, I swear.’
Shauna Orandi, 16, said she was in her Spanish class doing homework when she heard four gunshots that she initially mistook as instruments from a band class. She said a student burst into the room saying he´d seen the gunman, and her classmates were stunned into silence.
‘My worst nightmare actually came true,’ she said later as she left a nearby park with her father. ‘This is it. I´m gonna die.’


Freshman Rosie Rodriguez said she was walking up the library stairs when she heard noises that ‘sounded like balloons’ popping. She realized they were gunshots when she saw other students running.
Still carrying a backpack laden with books, she ran across the street to a home, where a person she didn’t know gave shelter to her and about 10 other students.
‘I just heard a lot of kids crying. We were scared,’ Rodriguez said.
A huge crowd of anxious parents gathered in the park, waiting to be reunited with their children.
Undersheriff Tim Murakami tweeted an apology to the parents, saying investigators needed to interview the students before they could be released.

Police officer stands guard as students wait to reunite with their parents.JPGA police officer stands guard as students wait to reunite with their parents after the Saugus High school shooting on Thursday 
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