Student Remains in Critical Condition After Shooting - NBC 7 San Diego

Student Remains in Critical Condition After Shooting



    A 15-year-old girl wounded in the head in a shooting at Gardena High School has awakened, according to doctors.

    The girl regained consciousness and could move her body Wednesday morning after surgery to remove a blood clot from her brain caused by the bullet's impact, said Julie Rees, spokeswoman for Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance.

    Authorities said the 15-year-old female victim suffered a gunshot wound to the head Tuesday and was taken to Harbor-UCLA, where she underwent emergency surgery and was listed in critical condition.

    A 15-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the neck, and he was hospitalized in fair condition. The boy did not need surgery.

    Doctors told NBCLA that although the bullet did not pass through the girl's skull "significant signs of traumatic brain injury" where evident when she arrived at the emergency room. Dr. James Ausman of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center said a brain scan conducted after surgery showed that "everything at this point, at least radiologically, looks good."

    As for the investigation, Los Angeles police were looking for the missing backpack and bullet magazine clip late Tuesday night after a gun in 10th-grader's book bag accidentally discharged when he dropped the satchel, wounding two students at a Los Angeles high school, say police.

    Tuesday evening, police booked the student who brought the backpack to school for assault with a deadly weapon and transported to him Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey.

    Authorities announced Wednesday that two other arrests were made Tuesday in connection with the case.

    LAUSD school police said a second student allegedly helped the boy change clothes after the incident. Authorities said the student who brought the weapon left the classroom and went to another classroom, where he tried to change clothes with another student.

    A third student is accused of helping to hide the backpack in which the gun was brought to school, LAUSD police officials said.

    Detectives told NBCLA late Tuesday night they did not have possession of the backpack used by the suspect to bring the 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol to Gardena High School. Detectives said the bullet magazine clip used was also missing further adding to the mystery surrounding the shooting.

    Police also released a 911 call from the school: 

      Caller: "We have two minors down due to a gunshot wound."

      Dispatcher: "Do you know who has the gun?"

      Caller: "No, we don't."

    Listen: Police Release 911 Emergency Call

    On Wednesday, an LAUSD official said the high school violated district policy by not conducting random weapons searches every day, according to the LA Times.

    "I can't tell you that that would have discovered this individual," incoming Superintendent John Deasy told the Times.

    Authorities said one round was discharged from the gun.

    "The round from that gun hit both of the students," said Asst. LAPD Chief Pat Gannon.

    "The person that's responsible for this particular shooting came into a classroom, it appears set a backpack down on a desk and a gun that was inside that backpack discharged," said Gannon.
    Numerous law enforcement agencies responded to the shooting at the 2,400-student campus located in the city of Los Angeles adjacent to the city of Gardena.

    Student Jacob Britton said he heard gunfire.

    "I saw everybody running from the area, and I heard the gunshots -- at least two of them -- and then I heard the screams," said the student. "Teachers ran out and told us to run to the closest classroom."

    The shooting was reported at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the campus at 1301 W. 182nd St., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast said a teacher called 911 to report the shooting.

    More than 3,000 children and teachers were at the campus, and they were held on lockdown until early afternoon, when parents were advised to go to the gate at Normandie Avenue and 178th Street to pick up their children. Parents were notified of the shooting through an automatic phone message system, police said.

    LAUSD police Chief Steve Zipperman said students and teachers were interviewed, and grief counselors were sent to the campus.

    LAUSD announced in an e-mail to NBCLA Tuesday evening "Gardena High School will be open and is expected to operate on a normal schedule on Wednesday, Jan. 19, the day after a shooting on that campus. The first bell rings at 7:53 a.m." 

    It was unclear how the student got the backpack onto the campus, where metal detectors are manned by school staff, not police. There was an armed school police officer on campus when the shooting occurred, Zipperman said.

    Asked if the weapon was cocked, which might explain why it went off, Zipperman said, "In the issue of a gun that accidentally discharges, it would have to be an automatic weapon instead of a revolver. It was an automatic, although I do not have the make."


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