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At least 2 dead, 3 injured in shooting at Santa Clarita, Calif., high school

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Nov. 14 (UPI) — A 16-year-old student opened fire at a Southern California high school Thursday, killing at least two students and injuring three others, local authorities said.

The male suspect was hospitalized with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Capt. Kent Wegener said.

Authorities said the shooting happened at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, shortly before classes began.

Police initially believed the suspect fled the campus after the shooting and conducted an hourlong search of the nearby area. They placed the high school and other nearby campuses on lockdown during the search.

They later determined he was one of the hospitalized students.

“Suspect is in custody and being treated at a local hospital,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.

Among the students transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, two died — a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. Three other victims — a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl — were being treated for their injuries. Dr. Larry Kidd, chief clinical officer for the hospital, said one victim had been released from the hospital and another was in critical condition.

Wegener said the suspect pulled a .45-caliber handgun from his school bag and opened fire in the campus’ quad around 7:30 a.m. There were no bullets left in the firearm when investigators recovered it.

Police said they believe the shooter acted alone.

“We have not yet established a motive or a nexus between the subject and his victims other than to say they were all students at the high school together,” Wegener said during an evening press conference, adding that a search warrant has been served for the suspect’s residence.

Paul Delacourt, assistant director of the FBI’s L.A. field office, said they don’t believe the suspect was acting on behalf of any group or under any ideology.

Villanueva said the first responders on the scene were off duty officers who were dropping off family members at the school at the time of the shooting.

He said their actions saved lives.

“It’s a tragedy every way you look at it but [if] there’s a silver lining behind this it’s the fact that off duty, first responders were there and did not hesitate, turned around, went right into the source of the gunfire to attempt to neutralize it and they rendered first aid immediately,” he said.

Police set up a location at a nearby park for parents to retrieve their children.

All Hart School District schools will be closed on Friday out of respect for the victims and their families, Deputy Superintendent Mike Kuhlman said in a statement.

The offices of California Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Donald Trump said they were monitoring news of the shooting and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said it received a call from Vice President Mike Pence.

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