Gardena High School

Shooting at Gardena, CA High School

A shooting occured this afternoon at a High School in Gardena, CA.  Reports are that three people were shot.  The shooter is believed to be a student and is still at large.  Schools in the area are on lockdown while police search for the suspect.

Update for KTLA:

GARDENA, Calif. (KTLA) — Gardena High School is on lockdown after a shooting on campus that left at least three students wounded.

The shooting was reported in the 1300 block of West 182nd Street around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Gardena police say 3 students have been wounded. At least one person has been transported to a hospital.

There are reports that police know who the gunman is, but are not releasing his name, according to Gardena Police spokesman Lt. Steve Prendargast.

He is described only as a 18-year old boy dressed in dark clothing. Police believe he is a student.

He is believed to still be on campus.

Update 11:40 from LA Now :

TV footage showed police cars and fire engines lined up in front of the school and one victim being take out to a waiting ambulance.

Police helicopters were searching the area for the suspect, who fled from the high school on foot.

A source confirmed that the suspect and at least one of the victims were students.

Update 11:50 – Police have made arrest of the shooter.

Update 11:59 from LA Now:

The shooting occurred about 10:30 a.m. on the campus at 1301 W. 182nd St. The alleged gunman apparently pulled the gun out of his backpack. Officials said the gun went off, with one bullet hitting several students. One students was hit in the head, another in the neck. Their conditions were unknown.

It’s unclear whether the gun went off accidentally or whether the student intentionally opened fire.

Update 12:10:  Shooting happened in Adult education section of the High School.  Police are not treating the shooting as an accident.  Two boys and one girl shot.

Update 12:50:  Maybe there is some credibility for the dropped backpack story.

KTLA reports: Gardena police say two students were wounded by one bullet.

A 15-year-old girl was shot in the head, She is in critical condition.

A 15-year-old boy shot in the neck. He is in stable condition.

Police with guns drawn surrounded a classroom as students walked outside with their hands in the air.

One young man was then placed on the ground and handcuffed.

The suspect, described only as a 16-year old boy dressed in dark clothing, was taken into custody shortly before noon.

Past History: Gardena High was the location of a prior shooting in 2002 as part of a botched robbery attempt.  Two people were wounded in that shooting.

Update 1:10: From NBC Los Angeles —

Gardena High School Principal Rudy Mendoza said the student dropped the bag as he walked between classes at midmorning. The boy who brought the gun was apprehended, Mendoza told The Associated Press.

Police initially reported that three people were shot and the shooter was at large.

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 heard the gunshots.

“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.”

Police said the weapon was recovered, and the student was arrested shortly before noon in a classroom that was filled with students and one teacher.

The shooting was reported at 10:30 a.m. 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.

At about noon, officers began escorting groups of students out of the building.

An information hotline for parents is available by calling 310-354-3400. Parents were advised to text 90247 to the number 888777, and they would receive a text message back providing them with information about when they could pick up their children.

Gardena High School has at least 2,600 students.

Update 1:50 — From LA Times:

Sources told The Times that after the gun went off, the student who brought it to school apologized to his classmates before running out of the classroom.

He surrendered to police in a dramatic end to a standoff after two fellow students were shot at Gardena High School. Initial reports had said that three students had been shot.

The shooting occurred about 10:30 a.m. on the campus at 1301 W. 182nd St.

LAPD Captain Steve Zipperman said, “It appears to be a possible accidental discharge.” He thinks the gun could have accidentally gone off. When asked about how the gun could’ve gotten past the school’s metal detectors, Zipperman said officials were looking into how the backpack got into the school.

Update 2:03 from LA Now:

Eyewitness describes Gardena High School shooting

January 18, 2011 | 12:40 pm

A Gardena High senior who was sitting next to students who were shot described a scene of chaos and fear inside the classroom when gunfire erupted Tuesday morning.

Miguel Lopez, 17, said he was in his health class when a gun went off as a male classmate was reaching into his backpack. The student, whose name Lopez did not know, was not pointing the gun at anyone, he said.

Two students sitting next to him in the rear corner of the room were shot, Lopez said. A boy was grazed in the shoulder. A 15-year-old girl next to him was shot in the temple.

“I’m scared and I don’t know what’s going on,” Lopez told the Los Angeles Times by cellphone. Lopez was sitting with classmates inside the dean’s office, where they had been escorted by security after the shooting.

Immediately after the gun went off, he said, the student ran out of the classroom. His teacher, Mrs. Jones, began screaming, he said. She ordered everyone out of the classroom just as school security was arriving.

As Lopez was running out, he saw the girl, who school officials said is in critical condition at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

“She kind of was crying. She fell back into her chair and fell on the floor,” he said.

Lopez called his mother, in tears.

“He was all freaked out,” said his older brother, Hector Lopez, 20, who was waiting outside Gardena High School. “He was traumatized. He saw the girl who was shot in the head. I told him to relax, to calm down, to stay away from whatever’s going on.”

Miguel Lopez said, “I’m shaken up and I’m worried. Right now, it’s a weird quiet inside the dean’s office. No one knows what’s going on. … I don’t even know what to say.”

LAUSD spokeswoman Lydia Ramos confirmed Lopez’s account, noting that the student did not open fire. Rather, he came to school with a gun in his backpack. When he placed the backpack on a table in his health class, the gun went off. He ran out of the classroom, with his backpack, she said. He dropped the backpack with the gun in it, then hid in another classroom before being taken into custody.

Update 3:20 –  The 15 year old girl who was shot is in critical condition and is in surgery at the UCLA Medical center.  The 15 year old boy is in serious condition with a wound to the neck.