2 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) — A student gunman opened fire Thursday at a Southern California high school, killing two students and wounding three others before he was captured in grave condition after shooting himself in the head, authorities said.

The shooting occurred around 7:30 a.m. at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Shauna Orandi, 16, said she was in her Spanish class doing homework when she heard four gunshots that she initially mistook as instruments from a band class. She said a student burst into the room saying he’d seen the gunman, and her classmates were stunned into silence.

“My worst nightmare actually came true,” she said later as she left a nearby park with her father. “This is it. I’m gonna die.”

Freshman Rosie Rodriguez said she was walking up the library stairs when she heard noises that “sounded like balloons” popping. She realized they were gunshots when she saw other students running.

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Two dead after a student opens fire at Saugus High School in California
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Two dead after a student opens fire at Saugus High School in California
Students are comforted as they wait to be reunited with their parents following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ambulances are parked outside of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Santa Clarita, Calif. A few people were injured Thursday during a shooting at the high school, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and a search was underway for the gunman, authorities said. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
A police officer stands guard as students wait to reunite with their parents following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Students and others wait outside a reunification center in Santa Clarita, Calif., after a shooting at Saugus High School injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)
Law enforcement personnel gather outside Saugus High School following a shooting in Santa Clarita, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)
People are lead out of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Santa Clarita, Calif. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says on Twitter that deputies are responding to the high school about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The sheriff’s office says a male suspect in black clothing was seen at the school. (KTTV-TV via AP)
People wait for students and updates outside of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
People are lead out of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Santa Clarita, Calif. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says on Twitter that deputies are responding to the high school about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The sheriff’s office says a male suspect in black clothing was seen at the school. (KTTV-TV via AP)
In this photo from video provided by KTLA-TV paramedics transport an injured person after a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., early Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (KTLA-TV via AP)
CALIFORNIA shaded relief map, highlighted with SACRAMENTO (capital) and SANTA CLARITA locator and SCHOOL SHOOTING lettering, finished graphic
Students are escorted out of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
D.J. Hamburger, center in blue, a teacher at Saugus High School, comforts a student after reports of a shooting at the school on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
A member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department stands outside of Saugus High School with his weapon drawn after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
People wait outside of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva tweeted that the suspect was in custody and was being treated at a hospital. He said the suspect was a student but gave no further information.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Students are escorted out of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Students are escorted out of Saugus High School as some parents join them after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Students are comforted as they wait to be reunited with their parents following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Students are embraced as they reunite at a park following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Students are escorted in a single file line as some parents pick them up outside of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
A student is comforted as she reunite at a park following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ella Cabigting is embraced by her father Emerson as they reunite following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
A police officer stands guard as students wait to be reunited with their parents following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ella Cabigting is embraced by her father Emerson as they reunite following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Students are embraced as they reunite at a park following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Students are escorted in a line as they wait to be reunited with their parents following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Students are comforted as they wait to be reunited with their parents following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
A student is embraced as she reunite at a park following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, at podium, and other police, fire and school officials hold a news conference about s shooting at that killed one and wounded several at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)
Students wait to be reunited with their parents at a park following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
A student is kissed as he reunited at a park following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Law enforcement officials arrive on the scene after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
Students evacuate their campus after reports of a shooting at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Santa Clarita, Calif. The shooting occurred around 7:30 a.m. at the high school, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. (AP Photo by Christian Monterrosa)
Parents wait to reunite with their children after a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Students evacuate their campus after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
First responders standby for any injured students after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo by Christian Monterrosa)
Heavily armed FBI officials survey the scene after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
Students evacuate their campus after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
Students evacuate their campus after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo by Christian Monterrosa)
Students evacuate their campus after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo by Christian Monterrosa)
Students evacuate their campus after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
First responders standby for any injured students after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
Students evacuate their campus after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo by Christian Monterrosa)
Students evacuate their campus after a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
A student is escorted out of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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Still carrying a backpack laden with books, she ran across the street to a home, where a person she didn’t know gave shelter to her and about 10 other students.

“I just heard a lot of kids crying. We were scared,” Rodriguez said.

On a normal day, she said, Saugus High School felt very safe.

“We never really thought this would happen in our school,” she said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said six people were shot, including the 16-year-old student suspect. Thursday was his birthday. No details were released on a motive.

A video of the shooting shows the gunman shooting himself in the head. Authorities say he was carrying a .45 caliber handgun.

The two students who died were 16 and 14. Their names were not released.

Saugus High School and other schools in the area were locked down.

Television images showed deputies swarming the school and several people being moved on gurneys. Lines of students were escorted from the school by armed deputies.

Anxious parents were awaiting reunification with their children in a park near the high school.

Los Angeles County Undersheriff Tim Murakami has tweeted an apology to the parents, saying investigators needed to interview the students before they could be released.

Orandi said she Has heard about so many school shootings that she always assumed she’d panic in such a moment.

But she said she stayed calm, thanks to the help of her teacher who locked down the classroom.

The shots rang out — “bang! pop!” — and Orandi said she heard people yelling and running. Students in the classroom started crying and hugging one another.

“I just couldn’t believe it was happening,” Orandi said.

She was escorted from the classroom to the school gym and later picked up by her father Hamid Orandi.

“She burst out crying like crazy, but I felt better because I knew the danger was gone,” he said. “It’s one of those random things you always have to worry about.”

His daughter said she would probably go home and vomit from the stress.

Student Sharon Orelana Cordova told KNBC-TV she hid under a table in a nurse’s office until officers came to get her.

“When I got out, I saw this person lying on the ground ... with blood all over,” she said.

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