We believe that most Americans recoil in anger and with tears over the loss of lives — often young — and wounds that will last a lifetime in depressive memory each time a senseless, multiple murder crime occurs.
On Thursday morning, the ongoing national plague of mass shootings struck the Antelope Valley’s nearby neighbor — Santa Clarita.
On his 16th birthday, a male student at the Saugus High School pulled a handgun from his backpack and shot five people — killing two — before shooting himself in the head. He has been identified as Nathaniel Berhow, a high school junior.
He was soon placed in custody and rushed to a hospital for treatment of a wound that caused his own death. He passed away on Friday.
The students who died were a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. The other victims were identified as a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, all injured by gunfire. One of the teens who was originally listed in good condition, was released from the hospital in the afternoon.
The shooter fired a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol in the quad of the school just after 7:30 a.m. and the multiple murder of classmates was caught on video, Capt. Kent Wegener of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, said. He added there were no more bullets left in the gun when it was recovered.
Medical staff transferred the suspect to the hospital before the police had identified him, Wegener said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said “Among those who were transported turned out to be the suspect.”
Images on TV and computer screens showed paramedics transporting the wounded on stretchers, outdoor tables littered with the backpacks of students who had fled and tear-filled reunions between parents and students.
Santa Clarita residents include many firefighters, police officers and other emergency medical workers, some of whom dropped their children off at the school and may have also responded to the shooting to aid the victims and the authorities, Villanueva said.
Two female students told CNN in an interview, that they heard five shots, one initial bang followed by four rapid shots. Voices shaking, the girls said students still inside the school were hiding in closets and texting updates to friends who had made it outside.
“It took us a minute to process that we needed to run,” one of the female students explained.
Saugus High, on a campus lined with palm trees, has about 2,400 students, according to federal data.
Earlier this year, a half-dozen students from Santa Clarita were detained on charges stemming from violent threats they posted online, the Los Angeles Times reported.
America, so blessed in many ways, is sinking in quicksand from the deadly series of monstrous mass murders that explode across our national landscape.
And our people in government do virtually nothing to stem the horrific tides of death and family destruction.
The killing sprees continue because office holders fear loss in their next election, National Rifle Association lobbyists who promote zealous support of the Second Amendment and humans who shrink from the little-used nobility of helping protect our peaceful humans, far more numerous than the brain-strangled murderers who want to set new records in mass killings.
The Washington Post reported that 233,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to shield a major arms manufacturer from potential liability in the 2012 school shooting that left 26 students and educator dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.
Over just the past five years, lawmakers have introduced more than 100 gun control proposals in Congress, since Gabrielle Giffords and 18 other people were shot in Tucson, Ariz., in January 2011.
Not one of them has been passed into law and very few of the proposals even made it to the House or Senate floor.