SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — A man who lives near Saugus High School is being hailed as a hero after opening his home to students running away from the gunfire from Thursday’s shooting.
Hannah Schooping-Gutierrez, the stepdaughter of CBS2/KCAL9 photographer Steve Medina, was in the quad at Saugus High School when they heard gunshots ring out Thursday at about 7:30 a.m.
Two teenagers were killed in the shooting, which wounded three others. The shooter is in grave condition after sustaining a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Most students were seen following a deputy off-campus in single-file. But Hannah and her friends ran off campus and were about to run to the park when they saw a man waving at them to get in his house.
Her mother, Laura Medina, said the man called himself Jose and lives on the corner near the school. A Marine, Jose said he heard the gunshots and knew exactly what they were and ran outside without a shirt or shoes.
He screamed at the frantic kids to get in his house, then yelled at cars coming into the area to turn around.
“He could be the reason why a lot of kids are alive right now,” Medina said. “He’s a hero.”
Jose allowed Hannah to use his phone to call 911 and her mother to tell her about the shooting and that she was OK. He also kept the students – who had abandoned their backpacks and phones – from trying to go back onto the campus to retrieve their things.
“He was a real lifesaver,” Hannah said. “If he didn’t open the door, I would have been at the park and I would have been even more scared because it’s an open area.”
Hannah says she wasn’t the only one Jose helped – she had at least three friends with her, and there were other students he had ushered into his home.
“I can’t thank him enough,” Hannah said. “He really helped everyone around him, when he didn’t have to do that.”