Saugus High School gunman dies, investigators continue to search for motive
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - The 16-year-old student who opened fire on the campus of Saugus High School has died.
The alleged suspect has been identified by neighbors and others at the school as Nathaniel "Nate" Berhow.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says Berhow was being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head when he succumbed to his injuries Friday afternoon. Sheriff's officials said his mother was with him when he died.
The deadly shooting happened Thursday morning in the quad area and took about 16 seconds, officials say.
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Five students were shot. The two students who passed away have been identified as 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell. Three other students were transported to local hospital for their gunshot wounds.
Detectives say Berhow pulled out a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol out of his backpack, shot five students in the quad on campus then turned the gun on himself.
(Photo by David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
"No motive or rationale has yet been established for the subject's assault,'' Sheriff's Capt. Kent Wegener said.
Detectives continue to search for a motive behind the deadly attack. During a press conference Friday, Carlos Canilo with the Los Angeles field division of the ATF says they recovered six guns that were registered to the suspect’s deceased father. The gun used in the shooting is currently at the sheriff’s crime lab as investigators work to find the origin of the gun.
Wegener said the shooting appeared to be completely random, with the gunman firing at anyone in his vicinity. He and Sheriff Alex Villanueva both reiterated Friday there appeared to be no discernable link between the shooter and the victims, other than they were students at Saugus High School.
Villanueva said the gunman didn't appear to have "any interaction with anyone'' prior to the shooting. He was standing by himself, then walked to the center of the quad and opened fire, the sheriff said.
CNS contributed to this report