Shooting at Los Angeles Middle School an Accident, Police Say


When police arrived, they found a 15-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the head, a 15-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to the wrist, and three other students with minor injuries.

The girl, who isn't being identified by name in media reports because of her age, was booked for negligent discharge of a firearm.

Shallin Lopez, a seventh-grader, was in the room at the time of the shooting. "I'm scared." Without thinking, Diego told her he will be right there, and everything was going to be OK.

He said the gun wouldn't necessarily had to have been cocked to go off in the girl's backpack, but mostly likely would have had to have become entangled with something inside the bag for the trigger to have been pressed.

TV footage showed a girl with dark hair and wearing a sweatshirt being led out of the school in handcuffs. The suspect, he added, "didn't mean to shoot" another 15-year-old girl in the wrist.

But, he said, "she doesn't do bad things, she just stays quiet".

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Police recovered a gun from the scene. "It was loud. I didn't see her shoot". Once they did, many children and parents sobbed as they hugged, walking from the school as they held each other.

The shooting left parents shaken.

After the campus was declared safe Thursday, the school day continued, and students could talk to counselors about the shooting, said Vivian Ekchian, interim superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Claudia Anzueto, Jordan Valenzuela's mother, said the boy was crying when he called her from a borrowed cellphone to tell her he was OK. "I fear for my son's life".

The district has a policy that requires every middle and high school campus to conduct daily random searches by metal-detector wands at different hours of the school day for students in the sixth grade and up. Castro said an emphasis at the school on long-term goals such as college and careers has improved student behavior, he said.

The child is represented by an attorney and has not spoken to detectives, he said. Apparently, this shooting was an accidental discharge of just one round from inside a backpack. "It could result in a tragedy".