SAUGUS (CBSLA) — Days after the Saugus High School shooting, a shaken community continues to struggle to come to terms with the loss of life, loss of a feeling of security, and survivor’s guilt.
The shooting Thursday morning claimed three lives, including the 16-year-old gunman, and left three others injured.
One student remains in the hospital while two others, including Mia Page Tretta and Addison Koegle, were released from the hospital.
Koegle’s family released a statement saying, “We are deeply appreciative of the love and support we have received and thank our community for their caring as we grieve with our friends and family.”
Mixed in with all the support for some, an almost guilty feeling over the relief their sisters or brothers weren’t among those who were hurt or killed.
“That’s like the scariest thought,” said Wendy Murillo, a former Saugus High School student.
On Saturday, survivors came together to comfort one another, yards from the quad where the gunman shot five students and then himself.
“We just hurt,” said Juliet Soria, a Saugus High School student. “And you think about your friends and all your family,” said Joseph Medina, another student.
“The school is supposed to be safe for kids, and now it is not,” said Micaela Hernandez, a parent.
As GoFundMe pages are raising money to support the families of Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15, and Dominic Michael Blackwell, 14, who both died from their injuries, yet another has been created for the family of the suspected shooter, Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, who also died. In one day, it has raised more than $13,000.00.
The creator of the page, Tana Risley, says she graduated from Saugus last year. She told CBS Los Angeles, “It is not about choosing sides.”
She went on to say, “We shouldn’t divide ourselves or cut off support to Nathaniel’s family,” adding, in Saugus student government, “We learned about kindness and about how kindness is different from just being nice. Kindness is unconditional and inconvenient, I encourage everyone … to be kind … even when it is not easy.”
A motive for the shooting remains unknown. Authorities said Berhow carried out the attack on his 16th birthday.
A community vigil has been scheduled for Sunday at 7 p.m. at Central Park on Bouquet Canyon Road. Lights and glow sticks will be provided. Candles are prohibited.