Saugus High School shooting: Student recounts texting dad ‘I love you’ as shots rang out
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - Students from Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, recalled the terrifying moments they heard gunfire erupt on campus Thursday morning.
Two students said they were in the quad area when they heard one loud popping sound and then two more. Neither student recalled seeing the gunman.
One of the students, Alexa Funk, said she was near an office in the quad.
“The first shot that we heard, it sounded like a balloon popping but then afterward, with the second and third shot, we all just ran,” she said.
Funk said she and other students ran into the office and then barricaded themselves in a printing room. The room did not have any locks, so the students pushed around printers and tables to block the door.
“We just prayed to get out of there alive. It was really scary,” she said.
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Funk added that she had her cellphone and texted her father, saying that she loved him and if anything were to happen to her that she loved her family members.
The other student said when he heard the gunshots he ran to the back of the school, went through a gate in the fence by a softball field and into a neighboring street.
“I knew immediately because it was way too loud to be anything else,” he said.
A woman who saw the boy and other students running from the area asked what happened and told them they could wait at her home for their parents.
Authorities responded to the school around 7:40 a.m. and found six students suffering from gunshot wounds in the quad.
During a press conference, authorities revealed that the 16-year-old suspected gunman was among those with gunshot wounds.
It appeared the suspect turned the gun on himself after shooting the other students and is in grave condition at a local hospital, authorities said.
They stated he was identified by surveillance video and first-hand witness accounts. Authorities also noted it was the suspect’s birthday.
A 15-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy died at the hospital, authorities said. The girl was shot in the head, according to Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby.
The other victims were a 14-year-old and 15-year-old girl and another 14-year-old boy. Authorities said conditions ranged from fair to good.
Saugus High School is located in Saugus, an unincorporated area of Santa Clarita, and has more than 2,300 students, according to the school’s website.
This story was reported from Los Angeles. FOX 11 contributed to this report.