Santana HS Shooting: 10 Years Later

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    Saturday marks the 10th anniversary of the Santana High School shooting, a tragedy that left two students dead and thirteen others injured.

    One of the injured was a campus supervisor who was the first person to go into the men's bathroom following the sound of gunshots.

    Santana HS Shooting: 10 Years Later

    [DGO] Santana HS Shooting: 10 Years Later
    We talk to the man who first went into the restroom following the sound of gunshots. (Published Friday, Mar 4, 2011)

    NBC San Diego sat down with him to reflect on a day that is still etched in his memory.

    "I got shot right here in my right shoulder, upper part, bullet went in and out that way, my right side bullet came in back and out right side and I have a third one lodged in the small of my back still in there," said Peter Ruiz Jr.

    That bullet, just one of the constant reminders for Ruiz about the morning of March 5th, 2001 when a troubled student opened fire with his dad's gun.

    Ruiz, then a 22-year-old campus supervisor, thought they were firecrackers as he passed a student in the hallway running for safety.

    "Unfortunately I have hearing loss in my right ear, so at that moment, he was telling me not to go in there, but I did not hear him say that. All I could really focus on was how big his eyes were, he was in complete shock," Ruiz said.

    But inside, the horror was unveiled.

    "As I turned the corner I saw bullet casings on the ground, I saw the two students, my mind quickly went to okay it's done, silent for two seconds, I think we're over with," Ruiz said.

    As he turned to leave, 15-year-old Andy Williams, hiding in a stall emerged shooting him in the back. Ruiz stumbled outside.

    "Later on somebody told me they saw just whizzing right my head," said Ruiz.

    He calls it the moment of terror when he was on the ground, unable to move, not knowing if Williams would finish him off.

    He says the teen emerged with the gun, smiled, turned and went back into the bathroom.

    “All of a sudden you hear their boots clicking on the ground, shotguns being racked, and they just stormed the bathroom at that point," he said.

    Today Ruiz is still a campus supervisor at Steele Canyon High School.

    "I can't say I've seen everything. But, I've seen enough to know whats coming and whats around the corner," he said.

    "Overall it's shaped me to really enjoy life a little more, the thing was really it became a part of me, the incident, what I did, everything involved in that shooting ten years ago," Ruiz said.