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California Police: Two Dead in Saugus High School Shooting, Suspect in 'Grave' Condition

© REUTERS / NBCLAPolice and emergency vehicles at Saugus high school in Santa Clarita, California
Police and emergency vehicles at Saugus high school in Santa Clarita, California - Sputnik International
A school shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, on Thursday left two students dead and three other students injured. The suspected shooter is presently in "grave" condition.

Kent Wegener, the captain of the LA County Sheriff's Office homicide division, revealed at a news conference following the deadly incident that law enforcement officials were informed of the shooting incident at roughly 7:38 a.m. local time and that the first patrol units arrived at Saugus High School within two minutes of the call.

The official described the suspect as a 16-year-old Asian male who was a resident of Santa Clarita. Media outlets suggest that the perpetrator was later identified as Nathaniel Berhow, and according to conflicting reports, he is either severely wounded after shooting himself, or is brain dead and attached to a life support machine in a hospital.

​Preliminary findings have revealed that after the shooter arrived at the school, he withdrew a .45 calibre, semi-automatic pistol within the school's quad and began to fire on his fellow students. Targeted students were between the ages of 14 and 16. After discharging the firearm, the suspected shooter turned the gun on himself and shot himself in the head.

After all individuals were transported to local area hospitals it was discovered that the suspected shooter was among the injured individuals. Police were able to verify the identity of the shooter after speaking with witnesses and reviewing video surveillance footage.

No known additional threats to the area or school were detected by law enforcement officials.

Earlier images of the incident shared on social media showed dozens of students being evacuated from the school by first responders as victims were transported to hospitals.

​"This is a tough day for Santa Clarita," Robert Lewis, captain of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, said during a new conference held later Thursday. "I ask the parents and I ask everybody in the community that in the days ahead, and in the years ahead the main thing we need to do is wrap our arms around each other and make sure we keep in contact with our kids, with each other in our relationships and our family members so we know what our family members are going through so we know what's happening in everyone's lives."

US President Donald Trump is closely monitoring the ongoing reports about the shooting at Saugus High School in California, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

"The White House encourages all those in the area to follow the advice of local law enforcement and first responders", she said.

Saugus High School is located about 30 miles (48 kilometres) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

In August, at least 10 people, including children, were reportedly injured as a result of a shooting near a football stadium in the south-eastern US state of Alabama.

Prior to this, at least 10 people, including the attacker, were killed and another 16 injured during a shooting on 4 August in Dayton, Ohio. The attack came less than a day after another gunman opened fire in the Walmart Cielo Vista Mall in the city of El Paso, Texas. 20 people were killed and 26 more injured.

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