2 injured at Gardena High in accidental shooting by student

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Frank Stoltze/KPCC

A police officer outside Gardena High School on Jan. 18, 2011.

Two students were wounded at Gardena High School when a gun brought by a student accidentally discharged. The student who brought the gun in his backpack was apprehended after being convinced to give himself up by a teacher. One student received a minor injury, but the other student was wounded seriously, shot in the head; she's currently in surgery.

Updated at 4:42 p.m. | Permalink

17-year-old facing possible charges

The 17-year-old senior who brought a gun to school today is facing possible charges of bringing a loaded firearm on to campus and negligent discharge of a firearm. Police are treating this as a possible accidental discharge of a firearm. LAPD is taking charge of the investigation.

- Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

Updated at 4:05 p.m. | Permalink

Following the Gardena High School shooting on social media

Check here for updates.

Updated at 2:26 p.m. | Permalink

Student with gun a 17-year-old senior

The Gardena student who brought a gun to school today that accidentally went off and shot two other students is a 17-year-old senior. Prior reports said he was a 15-year-old sophomore.

Updated at 2:07 p.m. | Permalink

15-year-old girl in surgery after being shot in the head

A 15-year-old girl is in surgery right now at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance with a bullet wound to the head. A bullet struck her and another student when a tenth-grader’s gun accidentally went off this morning at Gardena High School.

The 12th-grader [earlier versions identify him as a sophomore] – now in police custody – brought the firearm to class in a backpack. When he dropped the pack on a desk, the gun went off.

A 15-year-old boy was shot in the neck. He is in serious condition.

Doctors aren't offering much information about the wounds.

Dr. Gale Anderson with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center explains that the level one trauma center is one of four in Los Angeles County. "We have neurosurgery capability immediately. A patient is able to get into the neurosurgery right away in these level one trauma centers. We also have nurses especially trained in it. Respiratory therapists. Rehab people that are important because later on after a patients comes out there’s a lot of work is needed to help them recover well."

Doctors at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center don’t have much information yet on the extent of the teen’s injuries. They say more information will be available after the girl gets out of surgery.

Updated at 1:53 p.m. | Permalink

Parent talks about gang history at Gardena High

Yolanda Horton has a 10th grade daughter at Gardena High School.

Horton said that she'd heard the students were going to be dispersed in clusters and that they were being separated according to grade level.

When Horton spoke to her daughter, the daughter hadn't heard about the shooting yet. "My dad called me because I was at home watching a movie and told me to turn on the news, and that's how I found out."

Horton said she was surprised that a student brought a gun to Gardena High School. "I think really, at that age, what do you really need a gun for? It's just so crazy now how life is just changing. When we were kids, we were taught, if you have to defend yourself, use your hands; if you have issues, try and work it out a different way. These days, kids don't even have that same mentality."

Horton attended Gardena High 17 years ago and says there were gang problems back then. She says that she spoke with her daughter about gangs, but Horton's daughter says that there are a lot of other issues, but gangs aren't the issue at her school today. "When we were there, it was just little gang issues."

Horton said that she wasn't scared to continue sending her daughter to Gardena High, because "this could happen anywhere." Horton does want metal detectors to be tried out. "They were complaining that it will be a slow process getting the kids into the gate. They have other gates that are actually open when I drop my daughter off in the morning. They can have the security that work in the school and the police that usually sit there in the front of the school and wand the kids, and it wouldn't be such a slow process."

Horton says, if they don't do that, she may remove her daughter from the school.

- Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

Updated at 1:44 p.m. | Permalink

Parent waits for her 3 children outside Gardena High School

Terri Allen waited outside Gardena High School for her three children, two juniors and a freshman.

She described how she heard about the shooting. "I was actually going to Wal-Mart and I saw all the police outside, and then I got a phone call from my youngest son, who told me that there had been a shooting and they had locked the school down."

When she spoke with KPCC's Frank Stoltze, Allen said she had heard from two of her three children. "My middle son happened to be in the classroom that was right next to where they found the shooter, and unfortunately, I took his phone away last night because he came home late, so I can't get a hold of him. But my husband has seen him on TV, so I know he's OK."

Allen says this will likely change punishments in her household. "I think they'll get grounded from now on. I'm not taking the phones away." Allen laughed.

- Frank Stoltze

Updated at 1:39 p.m. | Permalink

Gardena High plans to release students at 2 p.m.

- Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Updated at 1:36 p.m. | Permalink

Deputy Chief Patrick Gannon says a 15-year-old Gardena High student was shot in the head Tuesday and is hospitalized in critical condition. The other victim is a 15-year-old who was hit in the neck.

A Los Angeles police official says the two students wounded in a shooting at a high school were hit by one bullet that was fired when a gun in a backpack apparently went off by accident.

Deputy Chief Patrick Gannon says a 15-year-old Gardena High student was shot in the head Tuesday and is hospitalized in critical condition.

The other victim is a 15-year-old who was hit in the neck.

Gannon describes it as a "through-and-through" wound.

Gannon says the student who brought the gun said he was sorry after it went off, and a teacher in the classroom said it appeared to be an accident.

The student with the gun ran to another room and police took him into custody.

- The Associated Press/NPR

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. | Permalink

Female student in critical condition; male student stable

Los Angeles Schools Police Sergeant Jorge Sandoval briefed media a block away from the Gardena High School campus. Sandoval says a female student shot is in critical condition, while a young man shot is in stable condition.

Sandoval said that administrators across the LAUSD randomly use metal detection wands, asking teachers to wand a random sample of students in a particular classroom.

"We take the protection of our children very seriously. It's very unfortunate this happened," said Sandoval. "The school reacted well. The school has a safe school plan that they immediately triggered. They locked down all of the classrooms, the campus, the staff. We practice this very frequently – at least twice a year we go through the safe school plans, and it was implemented flawlessly."

- Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Updated at 1:00 p.m. | Permalink

Parents arrive at Gardena High School to wait for their children

As they got word about this morning’s shooting at Gardena High School, parents converged at the intersection of 183rd Street and Normandie Avenue, about a block south from the school.

Denise, whose 16-year-old son is a student at Gardena High School, said that she has spoken to her son several times. "He stated that he's OK. I think they were just a little shaken up. They had them sequestered off in separate classrooms. I don't know how they group them off or anything like that, but they are safe right now.

Denise said that she was at work when the shooting happened. "I probably had about 15 calls from my family. I just found out about this 35, 40 minutes ago, the time it took me to get here from my job. Very nervous; a little broken down. Definitely not the Gardena High School that my family grew up going to. We have Gardena alumni here; definitely not the same school."

Denise said that the school was much quieter back then. "Much more integrated; the scholastic goals were a lot different than what they are now. It definitely all makes up the environment they're in now."

"I don't think the needs of the children are being assessed properly, and definitely not the safety. And I know it's a freak accident," says Denise, "but definitely not an environment that allows a parent to go to work 25 miles away and feel safe."

- Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Updated at 12:52 p.m. | Permalink

Parents wait for their students to be released

Police have taken a 10th grader at Gardena High School into custody after what L.A. Unified officials call an accidental shooting at the school late this morning. Two students - a girl and boy, both 15 years old - sustained gunshot wounds.

Maria Barenca has a 9th grade daughter at Gardena High School. "I already talked to her and she said she's OK. They have all the students in their rooms, locked down."

Parents aren't able to go to the school right now. "I'm worried, but we already talked to the police and the police told us they're going to release the kids at 1 o'clock, so we're waiting for that to happen."

Barenca said she's surprised that a gun was brought to the school. "We're really surprised. That means security there is not good. It's not working. We're really upset about it." She was thankful that her daughter is fine, "but what happened to the others?"

- Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Updated at 12:40 p.m. | Permalink

KTLA reports that both victims were 15 years old. The female student is the one seriously injured, apparently with a shot to the head, while the male student was grazed on the neck.

Updated at 12:35 p.m. | Permalink

Student was 10th grader; gun went off in backpack when dropped

A gun in a 10th-grader's backpack accidentally discharged when he dropped the bag, wounding two students at a Los Angeles high school, the campus principal said.

Gardena High School Principal Rudy Mendoza said the student dropped the bag as he walked between classes at midmorning. The boy who brought the gun was apprehended, Mendoza told The Associated Press.

- The Associated Press

Updated at 12:28 p.m. | Permalink

KTLA reports that this school does not have metal detectors for students to pass through at the front door, but they do have handheld metal detectors.

One student received a minor, grazing wound, while the other student was wounded more seriously, with a wound to the head.

KTLA received unconfirmed reports that this happened in a choir classroom. The teacher apparently argued with police when he stepped out of his classroom; police grabbed him by the arm. The suspect came out of the classroom shortly after and was subdued by police.

Updated at 12:23 p.m. | Permalink

LA school district says 2 wounded in shooting

Two students were wounded Tuesday when a gun brought to a high school accidentally discharged, a Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman said.

District spokesman Robert Alaniz's account to KCBS-TV differed from information from local police who said three people were wounded at Gardena High School.

KTLA-TV's news helicopter, meanwhile, showed footage of one youth in handcuffs on the campus.

Alaniz said the gun was brought to school in a backpack and went off when the student dropped it.

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Jamie Moore said two victims were transported to a hospital, one in serious condition and one in critical condition.

Numerous law enforcement agencies responded to the shooting at the campus located in the city of Los Angeles adjacent to the city of Gardena.

Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast said a teacher called 911 at 10:41 a.m. and Gardena officers initially responded. The investigation was being turned over to Los Angeles city and school district police.

A handful of frantic parents rushed to the school after hearing about the shooting on the news. They paced nervously as they waited behind police tapes for word from their children.

"I've never heard of anything like this before," said Thomas Hill, whose 16-year-old and 18-year-old children attend the school. "You're going to have confrontations between kids but never this."

Armando Perez, whose 15-year-old son Richard, was in the school, said: "I just want to know what's going on."

A mother who was waiting to hear from her 14-year-old son, Michael, said the school has a reputation for gang violence. Lupe Contreras said she has been trying to get her son out of the school.

- Thomas Watkins/AP

© 2011 The Associated Press.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. | Permalink

Student brought gun in backpack, discharged, injured 2 others, 1 severely

A Gardena High School student brought a gun to the campus in a backpack today, and the weapon discharged - possibly accidentally - injuring two students.

Initial reports indicated that as many as three people had been shot, but a Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman said only two students were injured, and the weapon had been fired accidentally.

"Our indication is that a student took a gun to school in a backpack, and that that student had dropped the backpack and consequently the gun discharged," LAUSD spokesman Robert Alaniz told ABC7. "We're not quite sure how both the students were injured, but we do know we have two injured students transported to the hospital."

The shooting occurred at 10:41 a.m. at the school at 1301 W. 182nd St. The extent of the students' injuries was not known. Reports from the scene indicated that one student was shot in the head, and another was hit in the neck. One victim was apparently male, and the other female, according to unconfirmed reports.

The school was locked down as police swarmed across the campus in search of the student. Police said the weapon was recovered, and the student was arrested shortly before noon in a classroom that was filled with students and one teacher.

Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast said a teacher called 911 to report the shooting.

Christy Westbrook, the parent of a student at the school, told ABC7 she had spoken to her daughter, who told her that one student had been shot in the face.

Gardena High School has at least 2,600 students. Parents were advised to text 90247 to the number 888777, and they would receive a text message back providing them with information about when they could pick up their children.

- KPCC wire services

Updated at 12:13 p.m. | Permalink

The two wounded students, a boy and a girl, were being transported to UCLA Medical Center. Their parents were with them, as were school officials.

- KPCC staff

Updated at 12:11 p.m. | Permalink

KTLA reports that the student came to class with a gun in his backpack and slammed it on his desk, causing the gun to go off. One student received a minor injury, but the other was reportedly shot in the head.

The two students shot were a boy and a girl.

Students are being prepared for an orderly dismissal; crisis counselors are on the scene.

- KPCC staff

Updated at 12:10 p.m. | Permalink

Watch live video of continuing coverage from KTLA here.

Updated at 12:08 p.m. | Permalink

There's a phone number for Gardena High parents to call for more information about their students: (310) 354-3400.

- KPCC staff

Updated at 12:06 p.m. | Permalink

KTLA reports that a teacher talked to and convinced a student who shot other students to give himself up.

Updated at 11:57 a.m. | Permalink

LAUSD spokesman says 2 students wounded in accidental shooting at Gardena High

A Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman says two students were wounded in an accidental shooting at Gardena High School.

The account differs from information from local police who say three people were wounded Tuesday morning at Gardena High.

District spokesman Robert Alaniz tells KCBS-TV that a student brought a gun to school in a backpack and it went off when he dropped it.

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Jamie Moore tells The Associated Press that two victims have been transported, one in serious condition and one in critical condition.

- Associated Press

Updated at 11:51 a.m. | Permalink

Police apprehend suspect

Police have subdued and arrested the suspect.

Updated at 11:46 a.m. | Permalink

Alleged gunman still on Gardena High campus

KTLA reports that the suspected shooter is believed to still be on campus.

Parents of Gardena High students have been urged to stay home and wait for information on where they can pick up their children.

Updated at 11:42 a.m. | Permalink

3 students wounded in shooting

KTLA reports that at least three students were wounded in the shooting, citing Gardena police as the source. At least one person was transported to a hospital.

KTLA also reports that they know the name of the gunman, but aren't releasing it yet.

There are conflicting reports about the age of the gunman, but he is apparently between 16 and 18 years old.

- KPCC staff

Updated at 11:37 a.m. | Permalink

Student opens fire, shooting 3; shooter still at large

A student dressed in dark-colored clothing brought a gun to Gardena High School today and opened fire, injuring at least three people and prompting a massive police search of the campus before the suspect was subdued and arrested.

The campus was placed on lockdown after the shooting, which occurred around 10:40 a.m. at the school at 1301 W. 182nd St.

Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast told CBS2 a teacher called 911 to report the shooting. He said the severity of the injuries was unknown. At least two victims could be seen being loaded into ambulances.

It was unclear if the victims were students.

The suspect, who was described by Prendergast as wearing black clothing, remained at large. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, Gardena police and Los Angeles Unified School District police were scouring the campus in search of the suspect, who may have been a 16-year-old student.

Gardena High School has at least 2,600 students.

- KPCC wire services

Updated at 11:29 a.m. | Permalink

16-year-old gunman still at large

Gardena police report that a student dressed in black was the gunman in the shooting at Gardena High School, and he is still at large. Three people have apparently been shot, although police have no information about the condition of the victims. A teacher called 911 at 10:41 a.m. to report the shooting, according to police.

- KPCC wire services

Updated at 11:28 a.m. | Permalink

KTLA reports that at least three were shot and the suspect is still at large. The suspect is a 16-year-old student.

- KPCC staff

Original story:

As many as three people were injured today in what may have been an officer-involved shooting at Gardena High School, and police were apparently searching for a student who may have brought a gun to the campus.

The shooting was reported at 10:30 a.m. at the campus at 1301 W. 182nd St., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. There was no immediate word on the extent of the injuries or whether any officers were hurt.

The campus was locked down, and reports from the scene indicated that officers were searching for a suspect, who may have been a 16-year-old student.

Gardena police were on the scene, along with Los Angeles Unified School District police officers.

- KPCC wire services

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