Santa Clarita School Shooting: Gunman Dies of Self-Inflicted Wound

Nathaniel Berhow died one day after carrying out attack that killed two students

Last Updated: November 15, 2019 @ 5:37 PM

The gunman who murdered two students at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif. on Thursday died Friday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound sustained after the deadly rampage.

According to the L.A. County Sheriff, Nathaniel Berhow carried out the campus attack on his 16th birthday. The two fatalities were a 15-year-old female and a 14-year-old male. Several other injured remain hospitalized.

No motive has been released. The shooting is under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace the origins of the handgun used in the attack.

According to CNN, the shooting happened about 20 minutes before the start of school in Santa Clarita, a suburban area located about 35 miles north of Los Angeles, and prompted many students to flee the building while others took cover inside classrooms in the school. Police responded immediately to the call around 7:30 a.m. of a shooting incident on campus and arrived within two minutes, according to local authorities. The suspect pulled a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol out of a backpack and began firing the weapon at students before shooting himself in the head, L.A. County Sheriff Capt. Kent Wegener said during a press conference following the horrific events. Authorities at the press conference said the suspect is a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley and his family home is currently being searched for evidence related to the shooting.

As the events were unfolding, veteran entertainment writer Anthony Breznican tweeted about the horror of going to retrieve his daughter from a nearby Santa Clarita elementary school placed under lockdown following the shooting. He also criticized the National Rifle Association and what he described as a “pervasive and reckless gun culture.”

“GOD DAMN the NRA and every gun-owner in this country who thinks their hobby is worth this endless nightmare. You drop your kid off in a pilgrim outfit for their Thanksgiving pageant. You never know if you’ll see them again. Could be any day. Any place,” Breznican wrote.

Breznican, a film writer who joined Vanity Fair this year after years at Entertainment Weekly, also described how school shootings were the new “normal” for children and said that threats have become frequent enough in his town that “most parents stopped noticing.”

“Like kids everywhere, my little ones grew up playing ‘games’ meant to mask shooting drill practice. For pre-schoolers it was called ‘Rabbit in the Hole.’ Can all the kids fit in a closet and stay very, very quiet? As they got older, they realized the truth,” he wrote.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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