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The shooter who opened fire inside a Santa Clarita high school Thursday is a junior at the school who chose his own birthday for the attack, authorities said.
The 16-year-old — identified by CBS as Nathaniel Berhow — allegedly stormed into Saugus High School just before classes began Thursday and killed two students and injured at least three others with a .45 caliber semi automatic pistol before turning the gun on himself, police said.
Berhow survived the self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head and is currently in “grave condition,” which means he is critical and clinging to life, at an area hospital, cops said.
He is a half-Japanese, half-American student whose family lives in Valencia, Calif., about two miles from the school.
While a sophomore at Saugus, Berhow ran track and field for the school and competed in the 800-meter and 1600 meter races, according to stats on Athletic.net.
His father, Mark Berhow, died in December 2017 for unknown reasons, according to an obituary. In 2016, shortly before Mark Berhow died, the shooter’s mom sued him for custody of their children, according to Trellis.
Two students — a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy — are dead and three other teens were injured Thursday after Nathaniel Berhow — who was transported to the hospital and is in “grave” condition — opened fire at Saugus High School in California, officials said.
“Suspect is in custody and being treated at a local hospital,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva had tweeted.
Six people, all students, had gunshot wounds when police arrived at the scene around 7:40 a.m., Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Kent Wegener said Thursday afternoon during a news conference. It was later discovered that one of the victims was the suspect, an Asian student at the school whose 16th birthday is today, Wegener said.
The victims were a 16-year-old girl who passed away at 9:23 a.m., a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl and two 14-year-old boys, according to officials. One of the 14-year-old victims died in the hospital, Villanueva said at the news conference, noting that it was not the shooter.
There was also one non-critically injured victim who was transported to a hospital, for a total of seven victims including the suspect, investigators said.
The weapon — a .45 semi-automatic pistol that had no remaining bullets — was recovered at the scene, Wegener said.
“Detectives have reviewed video that clearly shows the suspect withdraw a handgun and wound five people and shoot himself in the head,” he said.
The suspect’s mother and girlfriend were at the police station and a search warrant was being written and will be conducted at the suspect’s home for evidence, Wegener said.
No motive was immediately known. An investigation has begun to determine what happened and why, officials said, and the FBI is on the scene.