LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Two students were shot and a 12-year-old female student was in custody following a shooting Thursday morning in a middle school classroom in the Westlake District of Los Angeles.
The shooting occurred in a mixed-grades elective classroom at 8:53 a.m. at Sal Castro Middle School in the 1500 block of West Second Street. The school is located on the campus of Belmont High School.
“The incident involves the fact that we had some type of a shooting occurrence inside of a classroom,” L.A. School Police Chief Steve Zipperman told reporters.
The unidentified suspect was arrested at the scene and a weapon was recovered. She was later booked into the Los Angeles County Central Juvenile Hall on a count of negligent discharge of a firearm. She is being held without bail.
On Thursday evening, Los Angeles police called the shooting an “isolated incident,” implying it was accidental in nature. One of the suspect’s classmates told CBS2: “she (the suspect) kept saying, ‘I didn’t mean it.'”
The boy and girl who were shot, both age 15, were rushed to LAC-USC Medical Center. Both are expected to make a full recovery.
The boy suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and was in critical but stable condition.
“He was struck in the left temple area,” Dr. Carl Chudnofsky told reporters. “He came in and was initially awake and alert and answering questions, but his condition did start to deteriorate somewhat.”
Chudnofsky added that “no vital structures were traumatically injured.”
The girl was in fair condition after sustained a single gunshot wound to the wrist, along with a minor vascular injury and a small fracture to her wrist.
An 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were also treated at USC for very minor injuries, including abrasions to the head and face. Neither was shot. A 30-year-old female school staffer was treated for similar injuries at a different hospital as well.
Authorities are unsure how the girl got the gun into the classroom.
“We don’t know how the gun got in the hands of the shooter in this case,” L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer said.
It is unclear how many students were in the classroom when the incident took place, Zipperman said.
“It is still too early in the investigation to understand the motive, what precipitated this, how that weapon was accessed,” LAPD Commanding Officer Robert Arcos said.
The campus remained under lockdown as of noon. However, parents were being allowed to check their children out of school. The roads surrounding the campus were closed. Adding to the confusion, however, was that officials said that the school day would continue for those students who remained on campus.
“The normal school day and the normal instructional day will continue,” Zipperman said.
Interim L.A. Unified School District Superintendent Vivian Ekchian issued the following statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were hurt in today’s shooting incident at Sal Castro Middle School, and with all the students, families and employees on the campus.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement Thursday evening:
“I am relieved that the prognosis is good for the shooting victims at Sal Castro Middle School. I am grateful for law enforcement who were able to quickly secure the scene, and for the medical personnel who helped to prevent loss of life today. The victims are being treated at LAC+USC Medical Center, one of the largest public hospitals in the country.”