Yesterday morning during zero period at Highland High School in Palmdale, California, students, teachers, and parents experienced gripping terror as a gunman was reportedly on their campus. One 15-year-old student was injured, but they are expected to make a full recovery.
The suspect was arrested at a Vons supermarket parking lot on charges of suspicion of one count of attempted murder. The suspect is a 14-year-old former student of the school, who recently transferred elsewhere, according to the Los Angeles Times. Investigators are still learning about the details, and they are not sure yet if the 15-year-old was specifically targeted.
On Friday morning, the suspect’s mom called a family friend, also an LAPD officer. She let them know that her son had run away and that she was having problems with him. Additionally, soon after the shooting around 7:40 a.m., the suspect’s dad called the family friend again. This time, the father reported that his son had called to tell him that he “shot his gun in the air and was headed toward Vons.” It was there that authorities apprehended the boy.
Around an hour later at 8:30 a.m., officials found an SKS rifle in a field west of the school, which is believed to be the weapon that the suspect used. It’s currently unknown how the suspect got a hold of the gun.
Authorities are also looking into a false report of an active shooter on campus at nearby Manzanita Elementary School. The call was made around 20 minutes after the shooting at the high school, and there is a possibility that it was made in order to distract officers from the high school shooting.
Initial rumors that flew around on social media during the shooting was that the gunman was in the library holding hostages, which turned out to be false. Police reported that the suspect fired off around 10 rounds, and they know that at least some of the rounds were fired from a bathroom.
Many teachers and students shared their terror with the media, many recounting the fear that they felt as they ran or barricaded themselves in classrooms. Parents rushed to the school, anxious to reunite with their sons and daughters.
The high school is expected to resume classes as usual on Monday but will have extra support available for students including counselors and psychologists to help people cope with returning to school.