Police: 2 teens shot at California high school
Police said two teens were taken to a hospital, including a girl who was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head.
January 18th, 2011
03:24 PM ET

Police: 2 teens shot at California high school

[Updated at 4:05 p.m.] A suspect in an apparently accidental shooting at
Gardena High School in California has been caught and handcuffed by police, according to footage aired by CNN affiliate KTLA shortly before noon PT.

"The student in custody was the student involved in this morning's shooting," Robert Alaniz, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Unified School District, told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS.

Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Patrick Gannon told reporters that the shooting appeared to be accidental. A student brought the gun to school in a backpack, and when the student set the backpack on a desk the gun discharged, wounding two students, he said.

A 15-year-old girl was in critical condition with a head wound, and a 15-year-old boy was in stable condition with a neck wound, Gannon said.

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Filed under: California • Crime • U.S.
soundoff (942 Responses)
  1. Burbank

    What has happened to today's youth? When I was in high school about the worst thing that happened was sneaking a joint in a secluded place on campus. I think it's a problem with parenting more than anything. They don't get involved like they should, too busy with both of them working heavy overtime jobs keeping up with the Joneses in thier huge energy gobbling 5 bed 3 bath houses, or at the other end of the spectrum no parenting at all because of single mothers on welfare, drugs and dead-beat Dads.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • jh

      What about the hard working single parents, who have to put their kids in the care of others just so they can keep a roof over their heads? It is not always cut and dry. Remember that next time you decise to make an ignorant comment.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Momma Bear

      I know plenty of single parents and am quite tired of hearing about the poor, single parent story. Yes, sorry you do not share your parenting with a significant other but this is your child you are talking about. You should never be too busy for them. You are so hard working for a reason...to let them have a good life. That means they need to have adequate parenting also and not just left out wild in the world while poor, single parent is hard at work. Be interested in your childs life and check in on them often!

      January 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annunaki

      Agreed Burbank. Garbage in = garbage out. Your comments are not ignorant, they couldn't be more poignant and relevant.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |

      modern firearms do not discharge by being placed on a table. most pistols have some sort of external mechanical safety that *very rarely* fail, and most common modern firearms have more than one as a redundant system. unless the kid ended up with a pencil in the trigger guard in his backpack, or the weapon was 30 years old, and he had it in battery with the safety's off, there isnt really a way for this to have been a ND.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • lostlad

      @Tommy TT
      Better to die then have a gun in the house when someone breaks in? I guess that would probably mean all your family may be murdered by the bad guys when they break in. Then who would you pass your example onto? I feel much better in that I can defend my wife and children, if I have to.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jkfremin

      @Tommy TT
      There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a gun of any kind. The only problem is those people that aren't smart enough to keep it out of reach of their children and/or havent taught their children to not do moronic and dangerous crap (like taking a gun to school). If you have a gun, you should know and practice gun safety to the necesary extent and pass that knowledge onto your children. Guns are never the problem, idiots are.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • bornpoor

      My parents was poor and used to work all the time. But they always had time to monitor how we were doing in school and outside of the school. "I am poor hence I can't get involved with my kids education" this is an absurd argument. The problem is that these parents just don't have any focus on education. They have the same type of life planned for their kids as they live.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • D.J.

      How about punishing these people. A life behind bars is not enough how about an eye for an eye if proven without a doubt. People pay attention when they see consequenes.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawl

      How about not having children without having both parents involved? How about birth control?

      January 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike ho

      What's happened with todays youth is that ignorant monkeys and whiggers come to school and constantly jump the odd one out or the minority. In most cases nowadays seems to be the white males who actually act white and haven't adopted the hip hop 40 oz style that has even taken over the suburban schools. So he feels threatened, grabs daddys gun and brings it along. Who's to blame the welfare mom who is still smoking crack and letting her seven kids do this or the kid who feels like his life is threatened?

      January 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • singlemom/deadbeatdad

      Burbank and company:

      Wow. Glad that your 'Holy-er Than Thou' words and views were displayed to show just how pathetic we single moms with dead beat dads are, working too hard to know what the heck our kids are doing. Maybe all of us irresponsible baby-making, welfare receiving, neglectful parents should have looked to folks like you who are apparently perfect. My bad. It just can't be possible that children from broken homes become such things as: class president, honor-roll student, volunteer for an animal shelter and habitat for humanity with a single ACTIVE DUTY military parent who works a second job and goes to school. It can't be that a single parent actually knows who her child's friends are, where she goes after school, what her interests are and does homework together most nights of the week. NOPE. Not in Burbank's little world of 'if they don't look like me and smell like me, then they are not worthy...'

      Please, Sir/Ma'am: Don't assume every single mom is on welfare. This one is protecting YOUR RIGHT to say such horrible things about the world that you are doing nothing to change except COMPLAIN!

      best regards...

      January 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ohwell

      Yay.. another opportunities for bleeding heart liberals to take control by repealing your freedoms.. too bad for them they don't actually have a plan or solution for everything wrong.. Thanks for trying!

      January 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • SFV

      Burbank – Don't be blinded by your uneventful childhood. I grew up in the Northridge area in an upper-middle class family with both parents and there were guns in my Jr. and High School (late 1970's). I've even had ones pointed at me. You may not have seen them, but they were there.
      You can't pick a category or two of parent and place blame there. There are children from the strictest of parents that find themsleves in these situations. You're reading a lot into this article and making judgements based on nothing.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Assalam Aleyjam

      "Sure, it can be locked up. But even under lock and key, it sets a bad example. Some folks think having a gun in the house is an expression of freedom. Sorry, in a functional free society you would know enough not to keep one around in the first place."

      No. Having a gun locked up, telling your kids "don't touch it." And then, when they are old enough, teaching them how to safely use it.... That is a good example and a good part of a "functionally free society."

      January 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • katherine

      it’s the economy, if the middle and lower classes didn’t have to spend most of our time at work trying to make ends meet then parents could actually parent. also an exhausted parent cannot always be a good parent.

      January 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      a joint!
      We we afraid to sneak candy or gum into class.
      I gues the entire culture is going down fast!
      God help us all!

      January 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nana

      I totally agree wit u.I have been working since i was 18 yrs old &raised 3 kidsall by myself 6 of those yrs i worked da graveyard shift.I always stayed on top of what my kids was doing.I thank god that they r grown out on their own doing good.I never had 2 go to the jailhouse 2 bail either one of them out.So its all about how we raise our children.There was a lot of days i didnt feel like doing what i had 2 do as amother but i did it was my RESPONSIBILITY so i did what i had 2 do...

      January 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. OldArmyVet

    I've seen firearms (among other things) used pretty well to kill other people in all sorts unpleasant ways.

    Used as such, they are weapons.

    I've used firearms for decades to hunt.

    Used as such, they are no different than the captive bolt pistol used at the slaughterhouse.

    Firearms are not made expressly to kill people, although much of the improvement and design has been military in nature and such use has been far and away the most common use of them. They can be and have been used to kill people with alarming regularity.

    The issue is not availability of guns. That right is protected under the 2nd Amendment and I don't want that repealed. Repealing Prohibition was dangerous precedent (but reasonable) enough. You Canadians and Brits are free to feel as you wish. We did not want your King's law regarding gun ownership. We did not want your King. The State Militias were all that was left after our Continental Army was disbanded and the US Army had only a few hundred members. Those militiamen were drawn from a population of people who had guns. Notice the wording of the Amendment.

    The problem is a culture of violence, paranoia and irrational argumentation.

    I'd be interested to know how many of you gun lovers have needed to use a weapon in self defense - or even know someone who has.

    I've had an intruder in my home once. The dog scared him away.

    Other than in combat, I've had only one firearm pointed at me. The guy was foolish, was too close and had it pointed right at my forehead. He got a lesson in martial arts. How many of you have experienced similar situations?

    "Self defense" is an asinine argument.

    "Because I can" is an asinine argument.

    But, for the gun banners...

    "We'd stop crimes like these" is nothing but wishful thinking. Criminals, by definition, care little for the law.

    "If they were illegal, they wouldn't be available" is terribly naive. There are many things that are illegal and still available. Furthermore, you have some historical problems. Prohibition caused organized crime to flourish. The "war on drugs" has created rich and immensely powerful cartels.

    Some on each side see this as black and white. It's not.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Speedro

      After reading your long-winded expression of your singular personal experience I conclude: 1 – You are a lonely person and 2- There is no justifiable reason for a teenager to have a gun, particularly at school. Your comment barely has anything to do with the article, but thanks I guess for the story.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldArmyVet


      Nope. Not lonely.

      And my kids hunt, so they have guns. Have had then since age 14.

      My comment was in response to the "ban guns"/"love guns" discussion going on here. The same conversation that goes on every time something like this happens.

      Neither side has an advantage in an argument.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Barnett

      Why does this have to be a so polarized discussion – like everything else is at the moment. Is there no reasonable middle ground? I don;t think that the majority of gun control advocates are suggesting a total ban on all weapons. We all realize that the vast majority of hunters are of no threat, are highly trained and should be allowed to participate in their pastime. But it is harder to understand why we are being served as a society by having handguns and semi automatic weapons flood through society when it doesn't seem to be making the overall society safer. The current gun restrictions, background checks and registries (or lack of) are laughable. It's not understandable why the ATF is prevented from keeping a computerized register of guns and owners to help tracing, tracking and background checks. All has to be done via paper and hand good use of tax dollars). Let's at least try to find some middle ground where we can move from rather than just have two polar extremes.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldArmyVet

      @Robert Barnett

      I absolutely agree that the discourse is polarized. It should not be.

      Gun regulation != Gun ban.

      However, I think that the bureaucracy you suggest will be as ponderous as any other. It would not be guaranteed to work. Someone could have a perfectly legal and registered weapon, yet still use it in the commission of a crime. The records you suggest would then be academic.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lou

      @Vet, Though I disagree with some (many) of your points I appreciate the lucid presentation and civility with which you present your arguments.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Barnett

      @OldArmyVet – it surely is complex. But you have to start somewhere and then somewhere has to be in the center.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • TB

      @OldArmyVet: Love your response. It is one of the most practical and thorough responses that I've seen in most blogs. Everyone has an opinion and usually that's all that they spew. Thank you for your service and for your commentary.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tampa

      First, thank you for your service.
      Second, thank you for a well-thought-out argument. I have never known anyone who has ever needed to defend her family from an intruder – and I know people up and down the socioeconomic spectrum. So the whole "home protection" argument rings awfully shallow given the significant downside to guns. I'd like to think I'd act bravely and intelligently faced with a home invasion but I'd probably be too terrified to think.
      Your prohibition/war on drugs analogy also makes good sense. So what's the answer?
      Gotta look at the big picture. Improve access to help for the mentally ill. Stop the idiotic war on drugs and all the crime it causes. Teach children civics and civility. And basically just stop and think that it's not all about me.
      Again, thank you for your service. God bless.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron27

      Having worked in Seattle at night for several years, I've had to display my handgun several times to save my life and the lives of others around me. We live in a fairly violent world. Banning guns doesn't do anything but to keep them out of the hands of people like me who are responsible and only wanting to protect themselves from criminals. Stricter laws only affect the law abiding. They're an easy way out of doing what we really need to do, because the real solution is hard work. If you want to lower the gun crime in this country, it's going to have to go back to good parenting, not letting the X-Box raise your kids, enforcing the laws that we already have, and taking responsibility for your own safety. Those goals are much more difficult to acheive than banning the weapons, but they're what will actually work instead of making you feel like you're doing something. Raise your kids better. That's the real answer. Take responsibility for your own safety so that the criminal element doesn't see you as and your community as an easy target.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meredith

      @ OldArmyVet
      Thank you for your service.
      Thank you also for your rational viewpoint and statement. Some things in this world are clear cut. The vast majority are not.
      Well said and civil to boot.

      January 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jamison

    Ban handguns. Seriously. Roughly 80% of all deaths by guns come from handguns. Canada did it, Europe did it. Its our turn. The 2nd Amendment is old and did not intend to see automatic weapons and handguns.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldArmyVet

      Perhaps the 1st and 4th are also archaic.

      Maybe the 3rd? The 13th? The 15th?

      January 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Barnett

      @OldArmyVet – the 4th shouldn't be – but seems to me that we are slowly losing the 4th and not doing anything about it. I'm way more concerned about losing the 4th than the 2nd.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • tommy

      yeah you say ban them but when someone comes in your house and you need one you wont be so quick 2 jump on that ban wagon its people like you who make me sick if you dont like it go 2 Canada

      January 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldArmyVet


      When was the last time that happened to you?

      January 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldArmyVet

      @Robert Barnett

      As soon as we start assigning a level of priority to the Amendments, we enter a slippery slope.

      As for the 4th? Lincoln suspended it when we were fighting each other. Roosevelt suspended it in part.

      Bush suspended it for no good reason.

      Obama allowed the TSA to unilaterally emasculate it.

      We have entered strange and dangerous days.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Barnett

      @OldArmyVet – I agree you can't prioritize – but I my statement was really based on what you said – its already been obliterated and we don;t seem very concerned about it.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron27

      Yeah, because that worked so well with pot. Banning them doesn't make them disappear. It doesn't make it so the Crips down the street don't have them. It only makes it so YOU don't have them.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron27

      BTW, Jamison... Guns are already banned at school. Whole lot of good that did.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • S.Colbert

      Umm you can have handhuns in Canada. They even sell Desert Eagle .50 here. You just can't carry em around. Unless your fixin to use em in some street justice.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • MotherOf3

      It would be interesting to see what would happen if we made a law that would require every household have at least one gun, and with that gun require a class on gun safety.

      If every criminal knew that when they walked into a school the teachers were armed, into a home that the owners of the home were armed, into a store that the store owners were armed, that they'd all been shooting and taken gun safety classes and knewwhat they were doing with the weaopns, would they, I wonder, still be inclined to commit such acts of violence and stupidity.

      I am raising three kids by myself after being divorced. I work hard and go to school. I still know what my children are doing and where they are. I love my children, but I'm not afraid to discipline them either. I hope my children never commit any such acts of violence, but in the meantime I'm working hard on teaching them what's right and wrong.

      I don't blame the parents.

      I don't blame a mental illness either.

      It seems to me some people are violent, and will be regardless of what we do or try to teach them. Life is about choices, and this student made a choice to bring a gun to school unlocked, loaded, in his backpack, and the Arizona shooter made a choice. They are the only ones to blame.

      For the record: I'm liberal, and I believe in upholding the second amendment.

      January 20, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. MarkieBee

    Darnit, if more students would have been armed they could have started shooting at anything and everyone and that would have taken care of the problem. You betcha...start practicing that God-given second amendment right right there, you betcha.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CyndyP

    This boy had no business bringing the gun to school! His life and the lives of the two shot, parents and everyone in the class will never be the same. What a tragic mistake. And how does a gun go off when you set in on a desk?

    January 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Wiseone

    Proven Fact: More guns= LESS CRIME that is how things work. People Kill people. guns are a method. Anything and everything can be used as a LETHAL WEAPON.People are the problem. IT IS A PROVEN FACT.
    PS DON'T agrue with me

    January 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeti37

      i won't argue intellectually with an unarmed person...and you aren't armed.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. skully

    To the guy who posted only 800 people die each year from gunshots,
    Better recheck your facts, 30,000 people die each year from gunshots in the USA.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. USA

    I'm sure guns were banned from the school. That didn't stop him from bringing in a gun.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Charles

    Same old arguments for and against guns. It's too bad that we as Americans worship them.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron27

      No, it's too bad we argue about the guns when the issue is parenting and community. But I guess it's easier to blame guns and gun owners than it is to actually fix your community and raise your kids, when you're SOOO busy and the X-Box seems to be doing a fine job of parenting for you.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Singapore Sam

    I wonder if any acquaintances of the student who brought the gun to school knew about the gun before it discharged and critically injured a girl while wounding another student. I don't think there is such a thing as "the solution" for problems like this, but in addition to any number of remedial approaches, I think the US could stand an indefinite period of "Singapore justice," where punishments are swift and harsh. Bring a gun to school and "accidentally" shoot someone, instead of a social worker approach, whip the perp's a-double-ass until his brain gets the message loud and clear (and if he doesn't get the message, remove him from society, permanently). Harsh? If it works, I don't care if it's harsh, and if it doesn't work, don't use it. It works in Singapore.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jon

    Forget to turn the safety on, eh?

    January 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |


    January 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lou

      Why is God also punishing all the people who voted for Democrats?

      January 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • A.J.L.


      January 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dana

    What is going on?

    January 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. katincal

    Please tell me that this kids is permanently kicked out of this school and prosecuted. If the gun belonged to his parents then they should be charged as well for not locking up a firearm. Seems like our kids won't be safe in school unless we go so far as to start putting in scanners like at our airports. It's a pity.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anyone

      I do believe this incident was at a high school. Kids 12 and up that are responsible with guns can use them on their own for hunting etc. I don't think we can automatically assume the parents were responsible.

      January 18, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. john121

    Anyone in support of banning guns, if you tell me you plan for outlawing guns then maybe we'll compromise. Lets say next year you win, they vote to outlaw guns. How does that work? Do they search everyone's home for a gun and then remove it? Do we go on the honor system and ask everyone with a gun to turn it in (kinda like we're on the honor system now asking people not to kill people with their gun)? Do we just stop letting people buy new guns but people who already have them can keep them (there are guns from the Civil War that work like new, meaning they will last a LONG time)? None of these options seem viable to me, but if you can come up with a plan that works, and doesn't just disarm those of us who carry to protect our families, I am open to hear it.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason M

      Wonderful comment. The reason noone has responded and the reason that noone will respond, at least with a rational solution, is because there is not one. Guns are a necessary part of the modern world. Why should a 100lb woman for example have to be helpless in her home, or on the street for that matter. A gun evens the score....and yes even a little woman is completely capable of defending herself if properly trained!!

      January 18, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Very easy answer... Just because we cant pay the deficit with our quarter jars doesnt mean we shouldnt start trying. The attempt to make guns harder to get is an attempt to look down the road at what will help in the long run. Its a much better way to change ignorant behavior than a radical law that gets thrown into effect and causes a huge uproar. I'm not saying that I agree with gun prohibition, but making guns harder to get will result in less guns on the streets 20 years from now. This method of "slow indoctrination" is what is stealing many of our rights in airports nowadays. Dont confuse how effective the method with which a task is executed with is and whether you think the task should be executed in the first place.

      January 19, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
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