Police believe Gardena High School shooting an accident; student in custody

Family members wait for their children outside Gardena High School on Jan. 18, 2011 where two students were shot after a gun in another student's backpack accidentally discharged. From left to right are Eliut Maururi, Elisabeth Guerrero and Maria Avila.
Family members wait for their children outside Gardena High School on Jan. 18, 2011 where two students were shot after a gun in another student's backpack accidentally discharged. From left to right are Eliut Maururi, Elisabeth Guerrero and Maria Avila. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of Gardena High School students are home safe Tuesday evening after their campus was on lockdown after a gun fired in a classroom. Two students were injured by the bullet, one critically.

LAUSD Police Chief Steve Zipperman told reporters during an afternoon briefing that a preliminary investigation leads them to believe the gun discharged accidentally after a student brought it to class in a backpack.

“During the handling of that backpack, it appears that a weapon that was in that backpack somehow discharged,” said Zipperman. “When that weapon discharged, the round razed one of the students and unfortunately struck another student in the temple, as I indicated.”

The 17-year-old who brought the gun is in custody. Police say they’ll have an increased presence at the school Wednesday. The school district has deployed 10 grief counselors to help students cope with the incident.

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