An unidentified 12-year-old girl opened fire in a Los Angeles classroom yesterday. The shooting took place at Salvador Castro Middle School in the morning and left five students injured, one of whom is in critical condition.
According to the Chicago Tribune, police said that the incident was an accident. The suspect was taken into custody and is being booked on a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm on school grounds.
Police arrived on the scene at 8.55am to find one 15-year-old boy had been shot in the head. In addition, a 15-year-old girl was shot in the wrist and three others – a 30-year-old woman, an 11-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl – suffered minor injuries.
In a telephone interview conducted alongside his mother, 12-year-old Jordan Valenzuela, who was in the classroom next door when the shooting took place, told the Associated Press that he spoke to the accused girl just after the incident.
"She was like, 'I didn't mean to. I had the gun in my backpack and I didn't know it was loaded and my backpack fell and the gun went off,'" he said.
Shortly after that, however, the girl asked him to hide the weapon.
"She said, 'If I give you the gun will you hide it for me?'" he said. "I said 'No'. Then I moved away from her because I was a little bit scared."
Shallin Lopez was actually inside the room when the shooting occurred, but said she didn't see a gun.
"I just saw something pop," she said. "It was loud. I didn't see her shoot."
The school's district in LA has a policy that requires every middle and high school campus to conduct daily random searches with metal detector wands for students in the sixth grade and up, but parents are worried that's not enough.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Jordan Valenzuela's mother, Claudia Anzueto, called the school 'Not safe, very insecure'.
"I fear for my son's life," she said. "You know what I mean, you really hear about things like this in the news, and just to hear that something like that happened so close to home, it scared the life out of me."
Featured Image Credit: KTLA