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Authorities Confirm One Dead, 14 Wounded in San Diego School ShootingAired March 5, 2001 - 2:13 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And hello again from CNN Center. I'm Natalie Allen.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Lou Waters.
We've had another school shooting tragedy, this time in the San Diego suburb of Santee at Santana High School at 9:25 a.m. Pacific Time this morning. Several shots rang out. Several students were down, shot. One critically injured person has been taken by Medivac shopper. We have a report of 15 people shot in all. There's unconfirmed report that one of the high school students has been shot.
The alleged shooter was a ninth-grader, we are told, and we have one of his friends who described what he knows about today's shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said that he was like talking about with all his friends, saying he was going to do it. I don't know why he would do it, because like he always gets bullied around. And he said he was going to do it.
And two of my friends said this morning that he said he had a gun, but that was before -- I would have said something but I didn't know until after it already happened. And he said he was going to start in the bathroom and work his way out, and that's what he did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATERS: One of the friends of the alleged shooter, one of many who said they had heard that this was going to happen today but didn't think he would really do it.
Well, apparently he did it. He is under arrest. The alleged shooter is a ninth-grader, about 14, 15 years of age. Fifteen people down. And we will rejoin KGTV's coverage of the tragedy in San Diego.
BOB LAWRENCE, KGTV CORRESPONDENT: It's hard. I guess, you know, you hear from him over the weekend. You hear kids either boasting or talking about it, but obviously it was -- it was no joke. He wasn't joking.
CHRIS REYNOLDS, STUDENT: No. And it's like everybody can't believe that he actually did it. You know, everybody kind of thought he was joking around, you know, that a kid like him would never be able to do it. But if you look, that's the kind of kid that's been doing it at all the schools, the kids get picked on, or you know, kind of out of it and everything.
LAWRENCE: Any regrets? Not calling somebody?
REYNOLDS: Yes, I do regret that I didn't do something, because I should have stepped up, and you know, even if it wasn't true and stuff, just to take that precaution, because that's -- that's what people need to start doing, whether they believe it's true or not, just to be on the safe side. And now if someone did die over there and stuff, then that's going to be haunting me for a long time.
LAWRENCE: There has been a confirmed fatality.
LAWRENCE: A student (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
REYNOLDS: So I mean that's going to be with me for a long time, and if I -- you know, it just hurts, because I could have maybe done something about it. You know, and just like the friend that was with him this morning was patting him down to make sure he didn't have any guns, but he had it hidden in his backpack. And so you know, that kid, you know, probably feels bad and that kid spend the night over, Saturday night, too. And you know, I know he's feeling bad about it and can't believe that it happened.
LAWRENCE: But they believed him to the point where one of them actually patted him down?
REYNOLDS: Yeah, just because he came over to house this morning and was watching TV and stuff with them. And you know, just I guess wanted to make sure something that he was just joking around and didn't have anything. And he did have it.
LAWRENCE: In the backpack?
LAWRENCE: Really tough, really tough to take. And Josh now is being, obviously, questioned by authorities as to what he knows about that. But why today? Did he give any indication? Why today?
REYNOLDS: No, because, I mean, this was never talked about before. You know, it's like all -- the whole time I've known this kid it's never been brought up before and everything. And just all of a sudden, like Friday or Saturday, people were starting to say things. And I guess like 15 to 20 kids had heard about it and everything, and nothing -- you know, nobody said anything. And here I, you know, talked to him last night and everything, and I kind of believed him in what he was saying, because this kid also is a kid that usually can't lie to anybody. If he knows something that somebody else did and stuff, he goes and tells. He does -- he can't keep secrets or anything. So you know, I figured if he was actually going to do something, then, you know, he would have said -- you know, maybe said something. But I mean, he wasn't -- he's never like crying for help or anything, just always has a good attitude, and you know, calls our house all the time looking for Josh and everything. And they go to the skate park, they go to the mall, Jack-in-the-Box, wherever.
And so, you know, it's not like he didn't have any friends because he had quite a bit of friends, and now all those kids are going to be hurting because he's not going to be around and everything.
LAWRENCE: Chris Reynolds, thanks -- thanks for stopping and talking to us, as you heard him talk about it.
We do have one fatality. We do know that one fatality has been a student, and we know that several others have been taken to a number of area -- different hospitals.
Josh, who we talked with earlier, has now been questioned by the sheriff deputies just as to what he knows.
Boy, I'm sorry, but my breath is taken away. When you hear this sort of thing and considering what went on in Colorado, what's the worst that could have happened, you know, if he would have called somebody?
BILL GRIFFITH, KGTV ANCHOR: Yeah.
LAWRENCE: Bill, we're going send it back to you here.
GRIFFITH: Yeah, Bob...
LAWRENCE: And we're -- I'm going to try to get another update here from the sheriff's department.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, Bob, and you wonder, you know, if he even would have called the child's parent to let him know what was going on.
We want to go now to...
GRIFFITH: Mark Matthews.
LISA LAKE, KGTV ANCHOR: ... Mark Matthews, who's live on the scene as well -- Mark.
MARK MATTHEWS, KGTV CORRESPONDENT: We have pictures of one of the victims being taken away to the hospital. This girl was actually taken from a house about a block from the school.
Let's roll the pictures there. This is a 15-year-old 10th- grader, who walked away from the school with bullet holes in -- above both knees. Now, they are small-looking wounds. She's being gurnied over to the ambulance there. But she was smiling and talking with her friends as she left the house and was put into the ambulance. One of the eyewitnesses, a best friend of this girl that's being evacuated, is an Amy Barney (ph). She's a 15-year-old as well. She says that they were in the small quad of the school near the boy's bathroom when the shots rang out. There were five, and then there was a pause, and then several more, she said. Her friend, who we're seeing being loaded in an ambulance right now, was hit above both knees. But the wounds look small, larger than a BB but maybe perhaps a 0.22 caliber. They did not look like large wounds.
We want to withhold the girl's name as she's being transported to the hospital, because as yet her parents were not at the house and we don't know if they had been notified.
That young girl going to the hospital apparently in good shape, suffering from bullet wounds, but they were not life-threatening.
GRIFFITH: Thank you, Mark, for that live report on the victim. And again, some of our sources are saying as many as 15 may have been wounded in this.
We're being told now that some of the schools, elementary, middle schools that abut Santana, in the same area, are in lockdown right now, for you parents. Cajon Park Elementary and Middle School...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Hillcreek...
GRIFFITH: And Hillcreek School, an elementary school -- all three in lockdown mode. We can assume that if you are a parent with a student there, you can go to that campus and retrieve your child. It's for safety reasons obviously.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bill, let's go live now to Lauren Reynolds, who's at Sharp Hospital -- Lauren.
LAUREN REYNOLDS, KGTV CORRESPONDENT: I have just gotten an update on the victims here. I'm being told that there are a total of 15 victims, again seven here at Sharp Hospital. We're told that all the wounds here are non-life-threatening. The students were shot in the leg. Some were shot in the back. One was shot in the neck. One 18-year-old was shot in the buttocks area, and he actually got a friend to drive him off the school. They met up with an ambulance and he was brought here. There are family members here as well.
And Eileen Cornish, the public relations person for this hospital, has said that there are two fatalities. One died at the scene and one at Grossmont Hospital. So, that's the update we have right now.
In terms of the sheriff's deputy who was shot in the leg, that may be related to another shooting that was going on nearby. We're not sure if he's related to that. But there are six students here. They are talking. Nobody's crying. They are pretty calm. And two of them may be going home in just a short time. So, that's good news for them.
GRIFFITH: Yeah, Lauren Reynolds, thank you for that -- for that live report from there.
Hal Clement's joining us on the set now. Hal, you were keeping track of where some of the different wounded were going. It is sort of miraculous that we have the one person dead, but with a shooting at point-blank range there, that more weren't killed.
HAL CLEMENT, KGTV CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. I mean, you know, Bill and Lisa, that when something happens, initially the first reports are always very confusing, sometimes contradictory. And the numbers are coming in, obviously they are changing. What we do know, though, is there has been at least one fatality, and the number, as Lauren reported, is now up to 15 injured.
Some of the young people who were shot were apparently just nicked and they were able to walk or run home. So we don't know at this point if they were included in the injured because they were not taken to area hospitals.
I thought that was an extraordinary interview that Bob Lawrence had with Chris Reynolds telling us so much about the background of the young man. And, obviously, we are not going to release his name until we have confirmation from law enforcement.
But the stories about him talking about it beforehand and then saying, "No, no, I'm joking, I'm joking. I'm kidding. I'm not really going to do anything."
And the one friend of his, Josh Stevens, saying, "No, he's not the kind of kid that would do that, so when he said, 'No, I'm kidding,' we just assumed he was kidding."
And they even talked, and Bob talked to him, and Chris Reynolds and Josh Stevens about after Columbine, the number of times that students have been told: If you hear about this, tell somebody. Tell an adult, tell a school supervisor. And they were all very well aware of this, apparently, but the young man was able to convince them, no, no, I'm just kidding.
WATERS: One of his friends was so suspicious of the young man that he actually did a pat down before school this morning. He just apparently missed the weapon in the backpack.
CLEMENT: I guess it's the kind of thing that -- we're here all day. I can't believe it happened here. And I'm sure that the young people probably thought: No, not here, not at Santana. Not this kid. He's a good kid, he has a lot of friends. It wouldn't be him.
ALLEN: And here we have one adult who talked to the kid about this and he's feeling guilty because he feels that, you know, he dismissed it as a joke as well.
WATERS: We're being told that, and obviously, the trauma in a situation like this is far-reaching, not only to those who saw what happened but to those who are affected peripherally by this. So the school district has set up a crisis response team and a crisis response number. We have the information for you right now.
It's located, the teen center where they're doing crisis response to help people through the trauma, at the teen center at 9430 Cuyamaca, which is just a few blocks west, a little north and west of Santana High School. The area code and number on your screen if you want to call to find out what they're doing. (619) 258-492.
ALLEN: Let's go live now to Mark Matthews -- Mark?
MATTHEWS: The shooting at Santana High took place outside the boy's bathroom, just in the small quad area. That's how the students refer to it.
Amy Barney was one of the eyewitnesses. Here's what she told us.
AMY BARNEY, SANTANA HIGH STUDENT: Thought it was firecrackers, but it wasn't. It was bullets. And I saw a kid laying on the ground and everybody started running towards the back of the school, towards the locker room.
And then my friend got shot, and so everyone was all shaken up. And I didn't know she got shot, and she was just running and I didn't know what was happening. And she -- she has bullet things in both of her legs and she's really scared.
MATTHEWS: Where did this happen, Amy?
BARNEY: In the small quad by the -- by one of the food carts we have. Kind of by the boy's bathroom.
MATTHEWS: Where were you?
BARNEY: I was in the small quad by the boy's bathroom.
MATTHEWS: Where were the bullets coming from?
BARNEY: The boy's bathroom.
MATTHEWS: OK, so somebody with a gun was in the boy's bathroom?
BARNEY: I think so.
MATTHEWS: They were shooting out. Tell me what you saw...
BARNEY: I saw -- OK. I saw a guy laying on the ground. That was the first thing I saw, and then I started hearing things. And I just started hearing things and all my friends were, like, running. I'm like: where's everyone going? And that's what I saw.
MATTHEWS: How many shots did you hear?
BARNEY: A lot. There were segments of shots. Like -- there were, like, five or 10, and then there was, like, a big gap, and then there was more. And everyone just kept running and it was a lot.
MATTHEWS: All right. And how is Heather doing? BARNEY: She's doing good. She says nothing's wrong, but there is. She has bullets in her knees.
WATERS: Why don't we cut the tape off there.
Salvador Rivera is here with the mayor of Santee -- Sal?
SALVADOR RIVERA, KGTV CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Mark.
And if there is a silver lining to all this, it's how the community is rallying around, how the entire county has come together. There are people who are coming by, dropping off sodas, water, for the students, for parents who are still waiting for their kids.
With us now is Mayor Randy Voepel of Santee. You -- the city is making news all over the world, probably not the way you want to get some...
WATERS: Sal, we need to interrupt you. Sal, we need to interrupt you.
RIVERA: I'm sorry, sir.
WATERS: Sal? Sorry, we need to interrupt you. We've been told to go to Lauren Reynolds right now. Lauren, you have something urgent for us, I understand?
REYNOLDS: Well, Bill, I'm standing with the cousin of one of the victims, Shane Bogacek (ph). Your cousin is Matt Hire (ph). He's 18 years old. Tell me what happened to him.
SHANE BOGACEK, VICTIM'S COUSIN: He was shot in the butt area, and he seems to be doing fine right now. But there is just a lot of chaos, and a friend of his actually scooped him up and kind of carried him out of the school. But he seems to be doing fine.
REYNOLDS: Is he talking? Is he in pain?
BOGACEK: He's talking. He's in good spirits. He's like nothing happened. So he's perfectly fine. He's not really sure what went on at the school right now but he's fine.
REYNOLDS: So he actually got himself help? He wasn't helped by paramedics initially.
BOGACEK: Well, yes. He actually lives nearby, just right next to the school, and he actually got home before the paramedics got to him. But his friends helped him and they knew that something was going on and to get him out of there, and that he had been bleeding, so -- He's fine, and we didn't know nothing else of any other students that had been taken here, though.
REYNOLDS: And why was he shot? Where was he in the vicinity of what was going on?
BOGACEK: As far as we understand, I haven't talked to him personally, but he was just outside of the restroom area where the student had come out of and start firing. So that's as far as we know. He's -- he's just being looked at right now but we haven't been able to talk to him for very long. But he's doing fine.
REYNOLDS: OK. Well, thank you for taking time to talk to me. I know your family is very worried. Again, his cousin is named Matt Hire. He's the 18-year-old who was able to get home and get some help, and he's going to be OK. Back to you --
ALLEN: All right, thank you. Let's go now to Kim Edwards, who's live -- Kim?
KIM EDWARDS, KGTV CORRESPONDENT: And another person that you -- Lauren just interviewed the cousin of one of the victims. Wes was there and actually helped one of the victims. Take us back to just before the shooting and describe what happened.
WES, SANTANA HIGH SHOOTING WITNESS: I walked up and I saw two -- someone running out and a teacher ran out backwards, and he was trying to, like, pull up his pants and put his shirt back in.
EDWARDS: And get out of the bathroom?
WES: Yes. And then -- someone went in there, and he came out, and it was one of the narcs. He got shot in the back, and then I went over and saw one of the teachers. He was shot in the side and he was peeking his head around from the side trying to see if the shooter was still there. And he had me apply pressure to the one of the victims wounds who was shot through the chest.
EDWARDS: And who was that victim?
WES: Tristen. I don't know his last name.
EDWARDS: OK. And how was he while you were there? Take us through...
WES: He was -- in a lot of pain. He was screaming a lot, cursing a lot, too. But he -- they kept telling him he was going to be fine. He wasn't -- I don't know if he's the one who died or not, but I'm pretty sure he's not.
EDWARDS: OK. You say you stayed there until the emergency crews got there. Take us through that. What happened?
WES: I got -- they got there and they just kind of -- I got up and they immediately looked at the wounds and then they put -- took the shirt off and they started to strip him. Then they took me aside and started asking me questions.
EDWARDS: OK. And tell us, how do you think the victim was doing when you had to leave him after the emergency crews had taken over? How was he?
WES: I'm not really sure. He probably was OK.
EDWARDS: OK. You told me earlier you felt like he seemed pretty strong at the time.
WES: Yes, he did. And the teacher was stronger than anyone I've ever seen. He was able to stand up and continue to look at -- make sure he was -- the shooter was getting caught.
EDWARDS: In the heat of the moment when you're helping out like that, do you get a chance to realize what's going on around you?
WES: Not really.
EDWARDS: Yes. And now that it's been a while, you've been able to step back?
WES: I'm still numb.
EDWARDS: Yes. Can you believe it's your school?
WES: No. It's not real until it happens here, but still not really real. It's surreal.
EDWARDS: OK. Thank you very much, Wes. I appreciate your time.
WATERS: Another day of all too familiar pictures. Lou Waters here again at CNN center. The shooting at Santana High School in Santee, California, is what we're watching closely today.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the story is the -- the fact that the alleged shooter apparently told friends over the weekend that he was going to do this. Just a short while ago KGTV in San Diego talked to the father of a friend of the alleged shooter, who told us what he knew beforehand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REYNOLDS: I was talking to him. I told him I -- you know, that I heard all this stuff and everything. And I -- you know, he said he was joking about it, and I said, "Well, other people are taking you seriously."
And he says, "No, I'm not going to do anything."
And I said, "If you even think you're going to do anything, or if Josh comes over to your house, I'm calling the sheriff and having you arrested."
LAWRENCE: Did Josh come to you and tell you what was going on? I mean, you know how guys talk. I mean, they're young kids. He's -- what? -- 14, maybe?
REYNOLDS: He's -- Josh is 15.
They -- him and a few other people were talking about it and kind of, like, joking about it. And sometimes I kind of took them seriously, the way they were talking, and then other times I -- you know, they seemed like they were just joking. Because these kids like to joke a lot. LAWRENCE: Tell me about the kid who apparently may have done this. Describe him for me. He hangs out with, you know, obviously at the house and everything else. Describe him for me.
REYNOLDS: He -- He's a kid that -- that gets picked on a lot because he doesn't stand up for himself. Anybody tries anything with him, he just takes it. And -- most of the time, though, he'll start, you know, joking around, or he'll be laughing about it. So it's like sometimes you kind of thing it's bothering him but then, you know, everybody's just back to normal, hanging out, going to the skate park, doing whatever. They go to Jack-In-The-Box.
LAWRENCE: But you initially -- you didn't tell anybody -- you thought -- just like Josh, I guess, you didn't think he was serious?
REYNOLDS: No, at first I kind of thought, but then he said he was telling me no, I wouldn't be stupid and do something like that. He said the guns are locked up and everything, and he doesn't know where the key is, and I guess that wasn't true.
Because I feel like I'm to blame for some of this, because I could have done something, and I've had kids before I've known get hit by drunk drivers and things like that, and here's where I could have done something to prevent.
LAWRENCE: And I got to ask you, with all the stuff going on in Columbine and they were bragging before this was going on -- did it just dawn on you, whether this guy is joking or not, we got to do something?
REYNOLDS: You know, I even mentioned Columbine to him, I said I don't want a Columbine here at Santana or anything. He said no, nothing is happening and stuff, I'm just joking. And I don't know -- if maybe that because everybody is saying, like, oh, you are too chicken to do it and stuff, that maybe he did it because everybody was going to rag on him because he didn't do it.
LAWRENCE: Did he -- was he angry, was he mad? Was he acting out in any kind of way? You said he was a kid that got picked on.
REYNOLDS: He got picked on, but then he would be laughing about it. I mean, he spent the night at our house Saturday night, and he was fine. He was laughing a whole bunch and everything. He's always coming -- you know, Josh's mom, he is always saying hi, Mrs. Stevens (ph), or actually, now he's been saying, "Hi, mom" and "I love you, mom," and he would always come up to me and give me a hug and say, "I love you" and all this, you know.
LAWRENCE: Your family life? His family?
REYNOLDS: He lives with his dad, and his mom is back kind of toward the East side -- and I don't know. I mean, his dad kind of seems to be strict on him when he does things, because he says, don't tell my dad this or that, you know, because he grounds him and everything. He seems like not a mean dad, but he does get on him for doing things. LAWRENCE: This has to be doubly hard. I guess, you know, you hear from him over the weekend, you hear kids either boasting or talking about it, but obviously it was no joke. He wasn't joking.
REYNOLDS: No. It's like everybody can't believe that he actually did it. Everybody kind of thought he was joking around, that a kid like him would never be able to do it, but if you look, that's the kind of kid that has been doing it at all the schools, the kid that gets picked on, or kind of out of it and everything.
LAWRENCE: Any regrets? Not calling somebody?
REYNOLDS: Yeah, I do regret that I didn't do something. Because I should have stepped up and, you know, even if it wasn't true and stuff, just to take that precaution, because that's what people need to start doing, whether they believe it's true or not, just to be on save side. And now, if someone did die over there and stuff, that's going to be haunting me for a long time.
LAWRENCE: There has been a confirmed fatality among students now.
REYNOLDS: So, I mean, that will be with me for a long time, and it, you know, just hurts. Because I could have maybe done something about it. And just like, a friend that was with him this morning was patting him down to make sure he didn't have any guns, but he had it hidden in his backpack, and so, you know, that kid probably feels bad, and that kid spent the night over, Saturday night too, and he -- I know he is feeling bad about it. He can't believe that it happened.
LAWRENCE: They believed him to the point where one of them actually patted him down?
REYNOLDS: Yeah, just because he came over to his house this morning, and he was watching TV and stuff with him, and, you know, I guess wanted to make sure something that he was just joking around and didn't have anything. And he did have it.
LAWRENCE: In the backpack?
LAWRENCE: Really tough, really tough to take. And Josh now is being obviously questioned by authorities as to what he knows about that, but why today? Did he give any indication -- why today?
REYNOLDS: No. Because I mean, this was never talked about before. It's like -- the whole time I have known this kid, it's never been brought up before and everything, and all of sudden, like Friday or Saturday, people were starting to say things.
And I guess like 15 to 20 kids had heard about it and everything. And nothing -- you know, nobody said anything. And here I talked to him last night and everything, and I kind of believed him in what he was saying, because this kid also is a kid that usually can't lie to anybody. If he knows something that somebody else did and stuff, he goes and tells. He can't keep secrets on anything.
So, you know, I figured if he was actually going to do something, he would have said, maybe, said something. But I mean, he was never like crying for help or anything. Just always had a good attitude, calls our house all the time looking for Josh and everything, and they go to the skate park, they go to the mall, Jack-In-The-Box, wherever.
It's not like he didn't have any friends, because he had quite a bit of friends, and now all those kids are going to be hurting, because he is not going to be around and everything.
LAWRENCE: Chris Reynolds, thanks for stopping and talking to us.
As you heard him...
ALLEN: Compelling story there, a father of the shooter's friends. Apparently, this shooter had told his friends he was going to do this. Nobody believed him. They thought he was joking. It was no joke.
Several people are in hospitals, and we are now told, we are just learning, that we can confirm that two people have been shot and killed at Santana high school today. The last number we had was 15 people had been injured, and now we know that two are dead.
We even heard that father saying that one of the shooters' friends checked the shooter's backpack to see if there was a gun in there this morning before they went to school, but apparently, that gun that was in the backpack went undetected.
The shooting happened at 9:22 Pacific Time. Deputies were on the scene very shortly. The gunman is in custody. We don't know much more about this person. The students, of course, know who he is, but we are not giving out a name yet.
And it was a familiar scene that, very sadly, we've brought to you before. Scenes from the helicopters above, of students getting out of the school as the SWAT team moved in to make sure everything was OK, as ambulances arrived, and people headed out, and parents scrambled to try to find their kids.
Another community in this country affected by a mass shooting: Santee, California is where this happened. This is a suburb of San Diego. this is a very large school, about 2,000 students attend high school here.
As we heard, the shooting started in boy's bathroom, and the shooter made his way out, apparently, taking victims as he went. Students helped students, and a supervisor was shot -- apparently a supervisor who is a sheriff's deputy.
Again, we don't know much about who has been killed in this. We did confirm earlier that the first victim that we learned who was killed was a student. No information on the second death now in this shooting at this school today.
We will take a break and have more for you right after this.
ALLEN: We just received new information during that break. We had just reported that there reports that two of the wounded dead, that means two dead, 13 wounded. Now, AP reporting that the second death is a student, a 15-year-old male student has died at Grossmont hospital.
Apparently, from reports we've learned that the first victim was dead at scene at the school. We will continue to bring you updates as we get them.
We want to hear now from one of the student who was interviewed earlier who witnessed today's shooting at Santana high school.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERA: Tell us what did you hear?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw the whole thing happen. We were in the small quad. I was in my room. I was in the room right across from where the boy's bathroom was.
We saw -- when we heard the shots, I thought it was fake. My teacher said it was real. I went outside and I was taking pictures with my camera, and I saw one kid kneeling down in the small quad. The window of the lunch cart was shot out. We were inside, and we were watching the whole thing unfold.
The student who was shooting came back out, fired his weapon a couple more times, and went back in. There was multiple victims in the rest room. We saw one get carried out, and another one who was the person who was lying down in the small quad, he was whisked away by campus security and put over into alcove of the small quad.
At the time, the students stayed in the rest room until the police came, and they had guns drown. It was quite a scene.
RIVERA: Tell us what you saw through the camera. What are your pictures going to show when you develop them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, they took my film. If they were developed, you would see the student who got shot kneeling down in the small quad, students running away while shots were being fired, and we had the videotape as well, which was confiscated by the police, that would show the student being apprehended and taken away, and also victims being taken away as well.
RIVERA: We've heard a couple times already that there was word that this was coming. Did you hear that yesterday or in days before?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I had not heard anything. This was a complete shock. Nothing around campus would even hint to this. RIVERA: Tell about the student body at that point, the faculty, as soon as the shots rang out, what happened? Describe what was going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Complete chaos. Everyone scrambled. It was amazing to see how everyone just bolted toward anything they could get to to hide and cover. I did not see where the shots were coming from at first, and then you looked over and see the kid smiling and shooting his weapon.
RIVERA: You said you thought they were maybe firecrackers?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought they were blanks -- blank rounds, because it wasn't a very loud percussion sound. It wasn't a anything that was a big bang.
RIVERA: Handgun? How would you describe the weapon?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A handgun with a long barrel. It was...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Salvador? Salvador? The young man said that the shooter was smiling as he was shooting?
RIVERA: Shooter was smiling, is that what you said?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. When he came back out of the bathroom, he was smiling. He was looking around and smiling with his weapon, and he fired two more shots and went back in.
RIVERA: Does he have a history of being...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know -- I don't know the student personally. I have seen end him around campus before, I know he is a Santana student.
RIVERA: All right. What's your name?
ALLEN: And again, a student who had told his friends this weekend he was going to do this. He even asked his friends if they wanted to participate -- this is according to the friends who have been interviewed there at the scene. They all thought he was joking, and they said certainly not.
When they asked him reportedly, are you serious about this? Then he would say, oh, no, I'm only joking. And again, the gunman is in custody, a ninth-grader.
And again, the latest we have is two are dead from the shooting dead, two students there at Santana high school.
We will rejoin our affiliate now KGTV for their coverage.
RIVERA: ... involved and try to prevent this from ever happening again? NOEL (ph): Yeah, I do. I don't want this, you know. I heard about that suicide bombing just yesterday, and I was, like, man, what is the world coming to, and then this happens, and it's just like even more, you know, it makes you think.
This is America, you know, it's like, you don't think stuff like this would happen, but it does, and it needs to stop. It doesn't need to be kids killing kids and stuff like that. It's just wrong.
RIVERA: How long are prepared to wait here for word from your friends that they are OK?
NOEL: I don't know. You know, I kind of want to stay until everybody is gone, but you know, I'm tired, I'm hungry, I want to go home and relax, but I will probably be here a while waiting for them, just to make sure they are OK.
They are my friends, you know. They are my -- it's like my family. You know, and I will do anything for them, and I -- I don't know who was shot, you know, I don't know who died. I'm afraid if I know them or stuff. It's really scary.
RIVERA: Thank you very much, Noel, we appreciate your time.
Perhaps you heard the bullhorn. Deputies are still trying to get parents and students together. Whenever a parent shows up and starts looking for so-and-so, they try to get on the bullhorn and see if they can locate that he student, so they can reunite parents here, on the west side of this parking lot in front of Santana high school.
Behind me, more students. I don't know if can you see back there, but there is a table with cookies and water and soda, ice to keep the water cool. It's getting warm out here. People have been just coming by and dropping off stuff -- water, sodas -- just trying to keep the kids and parents comfortable, as they wait to be reunited.
For now, we're live from Santee. Salvador Rivera.
GRIFFITH: Sal, while you were talking, Sky 10 had a shot -- back there, you see it now. That's the small quad area, near the front of the Santana high school where the shooting took place in and around a lunch cart that was there at about 9:20 this morning, a lone student.
And now Associated Press is confirming what Lauren Reynolds told us a couple of moments ago, that a second student has died. Thirteen, besides the two fatalities, 13 others are wounded.
LAKE: Leonard Villarreal is joining us now live here with a little bit more as to what's happened -- Leonard.
LEONARD VILLARREAL, KGTV CORRESPONDENT: Well, the parents are obviously very concerned about what is happening in that entire region. We have information from the Santee elementary school district: all of their schools, 10 schools are in a form of lockdown.
Students are being kept in their classroom, they will be having lunch in their classrooms, and hall privileges are limited. School officials are asking parents not -- not to pick up their elementary school children, leave them at school.
But we are told that some parents are nonetheless going to these elementary schools and taking their children out. School officials tell us that they will be checking with the sheriff's department to discuss the issue of security. Again, these are the 10 elementary schedules in the area, the Santee elementary school district, and again, the students are being locked down, kept in their classrooms for their safety, just in case.
They will be having lunch in their classrooms, and hall privileges are limited. So we will have more information on that, as the situation develops, but again, parents in that area are being asked at this point, not to take their school kids out of the elementary school district.
And also, I talked to on the phone just a while ago with one of the students from Santana -- and a very, very shaken voice, a tearful voice: afraid, she told us that a Columbine would happen at her school. She was under the impression that there was a lot of hate at that school.
You know, Santana has worked a long time to sort of calm racial relations and get people together, but this one particular student said that she was actually fearful long ago that something would happen, because she felt a lot of hate at the school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Practical matter, as far as elementary and middle schools, it's going to be hard to keep parents from going and picking up their kids at a time like this, when you're so close to the scene of the...
WATERS: All right, we're back at CNN center. We have on the line Eileen Cornish at Sharp health care center, where a 15-year-old boy has died. Ms. Cornish, can you tell us what the nature of the wounds were?
EILEEN CORNISH, SHARP HEALTH CARE CENTER: I can tell you that the 15-year-old student died at our Grossmont hospital. At our Sharp Memorial hospital in San Diego, we have received six other male students, their ages range from 16 to 17 years old. All of the injuries are non-life-threatening.
WATERS: Are you relatively near the scene of the shooting, you are the closest point?
CORNISH: Grossmont hospital, where the young student died, is the closest hospital to the high school. Sharp Memorial hospital, where these six students are currently being treated, is the trauma center that sees all traumas that occur in a certain area. So, this is the point of contact for most of the injuries.
WATERS: You know if the 15-year-old boy died at the hospital, during trauma treatment?
CORNISH: Yes, he did.
WATERS: Died on the operating table?
CORNISH: I don't believe he was in the operating room, no.
WATERS: The others -- superficial wounds, is that what you are saying?
CORNISH: I'm saying they range from shots in the leg, back, a glancing one to the neck, but none of them are life-threatening.
WATERS: And do you know about the death at scene?
CORNISH: I don't know anything about what happened at the scene.
WATERS: OK, thank you very much. Eileen Cornish, the Sharp health care system.
This death occurred at the Grossmont hospital, where 16 and 17- year-olds, as you heard her say, are being treated. A 15-year-old boy student at Santana high school in Santee has died. As I alluded -- the -- one other death was confirmed at the scene, and this boy died at the hospital.
So it's two dead, at least 13 wounded in this shooting at Santana high school in Santee, which is a suburban community northeast of San Diego.
We'll take a break. We'll continue covering the story when we come back.
ALLEN: President Bush made statements about this school shooting in California just a short time ago. We're getting that videotape in and we'll have it for you in just a couple of minutes, we expect, and we'll let you know what he had to say.
Here is the latest. Two are dead in the school shooting in Santee, California. That's a suburb of San Diego. The name of the school is Santana High School. Apparently, a guidance counselor and a security guard are among those injured. Two thousand students attend this school.
Witnesses say the shooting was carried out by a lone student, a ninth-grader, and reports are this ninth-grade boy was smiling as he opened fire with a handgun on his students. This suspect is in custody.
Apparently, this person, if you haven't heard, if you're just joining us, told his friends over the weekend he was going to do this today. He asked his friends if they wanted to participate. They said no, and questioned him whether he was joking. And then he would say yes. This is according to interviews that have taken place just outside the school grounds today by reporters. We've also heard from one of those friends of the gunman's father, who also knew of these threats that this gunman had made, and apparently he asked the gunman personally, are you kidding? And the gunman told his friend's father, yes, of course I'm kidding, and said that the guns in his house were locked up.
This shooter, according to the witnesses there, lives with his father in the area, had many friends and many of the shooter's friends are saying now that they are completely shocked that he went through with this. They don't describe him as a loner. Some have said he was a student who was picked on, but always laughed it off. So we don't know much more about the person we believe in charge of this today.
Let's hear now from President Bush who commented a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Before I talk about the business at hand here, I want to say how saddened we all are to know that two students lost their lives in Southern California, others have been injured in a disgraceful act of cowardice.
When America teaches her children right from wrong and teaches values to respect life and the values that respect life in our country, our country will be better off. Our hearts go out and our prayers go out to the parents and the teachers and the children whose lives have been completely turned upside down right now.
QUESTION: What can the president do to stop, if anything, to stop children from killing children?
BUSH: All of us, all adults in society can teach children right from wrong, can explain that life is precious. All of us must be mindful of, you know, the fact that some people may decide to act out their aggressions or their pain or hurt and be diligent. We don't know enough of the facts right now as to what took place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: President Bush a short time ago in the White House commenting on this shooting in California. Of the two victims, we know that one is a 15-year-old male student who died a short time ago at Grossmont Hospital. The other student, we don't know the gender of this student, apparently died at scene there at the school. And that leaves 13 wounded.
We did talk a short time ago with one of the hospitals who said the six students at this one hospital, none had life-threatening injuries. So that's where we are now. We'll return to our affiliate KGTV and their coverage.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
LAKE: ... for us from Santee? VILLARREAL: We want to pass along something that the blood bank is asking right now. There is, as you might imagine, with the 13 injuries and the two fatalities in this terrible shooting, there is a desperate need for blood for the victims. So the blood bank and the Red Cross are both asking you donate blood this afternoon behalf of the victims of the shooting.
Blood donors of all blood types are needed. If you just give in the name of the Santana High School shooting victims, then the blood will be credited to the victim's accounts. So, please go to the nearest Red Cross or blood bank office. There is one in El Cajon just east of Santee there that's on Fletcher Parkway I know you can go to as well.
LAKE: Let's go back live to Kim Edwards, who's been on the scene there for us morning. Kim, what you can tell us?
EDWARDS: Let me just give you a quick update on the very latest we have. We are waiting, probably about 10 minutes away, Bill Kolender, Dianne Jacob, Paul Pfingst, all the ATF members are here. They have been meeting in kind of a command post back there at the realty center. They all just walked past us about 10 minutes ago. We understand they're getting the latest numbers, then they will address the media.
In the meantime, let me show you where we are. Across the way here, that is the high school. You can see a few remaining SWAT folks off to your right, is the major SWAT area where they set up and operated from this morning. Then back here is where the rest of the sheriffs and other law enforcement departments have been headquartered all morning, discussing what's going on. CHP, San Diego police -- excuse me, Santee police, everybody is involved and out here, helping in any way that they can. This is where they are staged.
Meantime, on the other side of the parking lot, that's where you've been hearing from Sal Rivera. Over there, that's where the parents and students are asked to go to reunite. And I'll recap for you, there is a posted list at Del Taco of the injured students, but they are not releasing that to anyone but parents.
At Roundtable, that's where the majority of the kids are, unless your parent has arrived and checked you out. You can sign child out. Across the street from Round Table is a church called Valley Orthodox Church. All the witnesses are detained there, we're being told, in order to give police what they know.
And as you heard, we have spoken -- Bob Lawrence interviewed Josh Stevens and Chris Reynolds. We understand both of them have been taken into custody, just for questioning, to find out what they knew. They claimed that they did talk to this freshman shooter, the alleged shooter, this past weekend and he said that indeed this was something he was thinking about.
But everyone that we talked to said they're shocked out of their minds that he did it, that they thought he was just joking. But Chris Reynolds did go so far as to say this would haunt him for the rest of his life, the fact he didn't call, the fact that he didn't do anything about it.
We will have more, hopefully, on the shooter later this afternoon. As of yet, we cannot release his name. A wrap-up on the victims is that there are two dead, we believe both students; one on campus, one at Grossmont and 15 wounded and again, one of the wounded possibly two were a couple of counselors and folks that the kids refer to as narcs. They're on the campus to kind of see that things go all right.
Again, about 10 minutes, you can see we're gathering here for the press conference. We expect to hear from several law enforcement officials plus Dianne Jacob has been on the scene almost all morning. This is her area. This is -- these are her constituents. We hope to hear from her and get an update of the official word on exactly what has happened. We are live on the scene.
For now, we are live in Santee. I'll send it back to you.
LAKE: Right, and Kim, the crowd there, the mood, it's starting to calm down just a little.
EDWARDS: Yes, it's calmed down a lot. We have had the ATF teams come in and some of the -- yes, it was ATF. I was going to say SWAT, but it was ATF. They have packed up their vehicles and left. So, some of the law enforcement is starting to leave. A main core are still here to handle things and keep things under control.
And the parents and the kids, when we first got here two or three hours ago, were in controlled hysteria. Now, it is very quiet and I think beginning to sink in, in that folks aren't approaching us. At first, a lot of people approaching us, wanting to talk, wanting to get things on air and now it's kind of quieting down like they're realizing it's very serious, especially with the two fatalities.
VILLARREAL: All right, thank you, Kim. You're watching KGTV, Channel 10. You've been watching 10News midday. We are going to -- it's approaching the top of the 12:00 hour. We're going to stay with out live coverage of the Santana High School shooting.
The shooting occurred at 20 minutes past 9:00 this morning during the passing between block one and block two, or period one and period two at Santana High School. A lone gunman began firing a handgun from the doorway of the boys room in the small quad area of Santana, where a number, as many as hundreds of students had gathered, hitting 15 of them with gunfire, fatally wounding two, injuring 13 others. We believe two of the injured are adults who work at the school. One is a teacher counselor, the other as a campus security supervisor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And those of you expecting to see "All My Children" right now, we'd like to let you know that the soap operas are going to be preempted beginning at 1:40 a.m. this morning. Now let's go back live to Kim Edwards -- Kim.
EDWARDS: Let me give you a quick update. I know we're here at the top of the hour, 12:00. Again, we know two confirmed dead, 15 wounded. One was killed at the scene, one died later at Grossmont Hospital. Here at the corner of Magnolia and Mast, it's where they are asking parents to come to pick up their kids. Right over there at Roundtable Pizza is where the kids are being held. Parents can sign them out.
If the child or student was a witness, they are asked to go to Valley Orthodox Church, where they will be debriefed and interviewed by the police. Meantime here, we are at the police headquarters. There is a SWAT headquarters across the street at the school, but we're at the police headquarters where they are running things and operationally deciding when they're going to talk to us. We're hoping any minute now to hear from Sheriff Bill Kolender as well as Diane Jacob. This is her district.
And Chris Reynolds is the most amazing interview that we've had all morning. He was the father of one of the boys that hung out with the alleged shooter, and he said the shooter did talk about this, but they didn't believe him. So that is our wrap up on this corner.
Let me bring in Cara Liederman (ph). She is one of our interns.
And you have been rounding up people for us all day. Tell us about the moment when you found Josh, who is the kid who knew the shooter.
CARA LIEDERMAN: When I found Josh, he was walking with about five friends, and he had just spoken with police, and he looked like he was on his way to either go home or just get out of the situation.
EDWARDS: How did he happen to tell you that he knew the shooter?
LIEDERMAN: I just came up to him and I asked him if he knew anything about what was going on, and he happened to say that he was the friend. And he's in a band with the shooter.
EDWARDS: OK, thanks very much for your work today, Cara.
Again, a lot of hardworking people out here. The police have it definitely under control. But controlled chaos earlier today in that it was hard to know exactly where the kids who were not wounded were and where the wounded had been taken. But again, very under control and almost beginning to set in. Very, very quiet mood here as opposed to the somewhat hysteric mood that we had before.
WATERS: All right, Lou Waters here at CNN Center. Some troubling questions being asked again about a school shooting. But in this case, questions not only about why he did it but why someone didn't say something to stop it.
We are referring now to a study, which was published last October by the U.S. Secret Service in reference to a recent rash of school shootings in more than three-quarters of all violent school outbreaks, according to this study, the attacker told someone before the attack about his or her interest in mounting a school attack. In more than half of those incidents, the attacker told more than one person. In one case, an attacker made comments to at least 24 friends and classmates about his interest in killing other kids, building bombs or carrying out attack at the school. That appears to have happened here at Santana High School in northeast San Diego County just above San Diego, where now a 15-year-old ninth grader is in custody accused of opening fire on fellow students, a campus supervisor and a security guard this morning about 9:20 or so, killing two of the students, wounding at least 13 others.
You heard the Channel 10 reporter refer to the father of one of the friends of the accused shooter, who said, "I don't want a Columbine or anything happening here." He confronted the boy over the weekend about his references to making mayhem at Santana High School today wanting to know if he was serious. The boy said, "No, I'm just joking." And the father said this morning, "Now it has happened because I didn't say anything."
The shooting took place, as I mentioned, about 9:20 this morning. The boy pulled a gun out of his backpack, apparently. One of the friends who thought maybe he was serious, maybe he wasn't over the weekend took time this morning to pat him down, as it was described, checking him out for weapons. Apparently did not check deep into the backpack where apparently the gun was hidden. We don't know that for sure, but that seems to be the anecdotal evidence at this time anyway.
Police responded to the shooting recorded on a 911 call. People down shooting at a school. Police showed up about two minutes later. The alleged shooter was taken into custody immediately. We don't know the details of that confrontation or if there was a confrontation. But the boy now is in custody, and the father that I referred to, who said he didn't do anything to stop it, and his son, friend of the accused shooter, now have been detained by police as a material witness perhaps. I don't know if there's an official caption under there detention at the moment, but they are being questioned quite extensively about what they know of this shooting over the weekend. There was a get together among several friends, several of whom have told KGTV reporters today that they didn't think the boy was serious. He was serious and students at the school are reacting today with shock.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a bunch of shots fired. Everyone thought it was fireworks and some child just playing a game. And then we saw a guy laying on the ground. And then all of a sudden, you hear everyone screaming, "Run." And everyone just hurrying every which way.
QUESTION: Where were you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was right in front of the library right across from the bathroom, and I saw the guy, and he was running away. And he had like blood coming down his face. And then I saw the narc that was laying on the ground.
QUESTION: You saw what that was laying on the ground?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The narc, campus supervisor.
QUESTION: He was laying on the ground?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
QUESTION: Did you see the guy who was shooting?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I don't think anyone saw him unless you were like really on. And it scared me so much. I knew the first guy that got shot. I've known him for a while.
WATERS: It's a horrible day in Santee. Parents are being reunited with their children. Apparently, most of that effort has been solved now. It was chaotic at first with more than 2,000 students at the school being evacuated and taken about 200 yards away to a parking lot at a shopping center where police were trying to form some kind of system for getting parents who are alerted by television and other means to get to the shopping center and to meet with their children and take them home.
Some students who were shot went home. A couple of them were wounded and went to a home near by not waiting for emergency vehicles to show up.
The Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, the federal agency, has been asked to come in by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. They've been called in as part of the weapons investigation, and we're expecting to hear from them shortly. We'll take that live when we get it. And we'll continue our coverage here of the shooting in Santee when we come back.
ALLEN: We're going to rejoin KGTV, who's talking with more students who witnessed this shooting today.
RIVERA: Right now you're just hanging out or waiting for a parent?
JOHN: I don't know. I heard my dad was down here, so -- I don't see him, though, so I think he might have left.
RIVERA: Thanks, John, for your time.
Interesting observation as to what happened. With us now is Lee Ann, who's been hovering above the school all morning. Lee Ann, what can you tell us?
LEE ANN KIM, KGTV CORRESPONDENT: Sal, I think that we have located the area in which the shooting took place. We believe this is building number 200. You might be able to see that sheriff's deputy. He's standing right in front of what we believe is the bathroom in which the shooting took place. You can see the grassy area right in front of him. There are little yellow speckles and that's where we believe that investigators have marked different pieces of evidence. You see a backpack in the foreground. Now you're going to see a blanket to the right side. A little bit beyond the blanket, which we are not going to show you, is a body. We do believe that is one of the victims, and we are waiting for medical examiners to arrive here on the scene. Again, this is the area in which we believe the shooting took place. And it's pretty appropriate that we see all these yellow markers on the ground for all the evidence. And we'll be standing by for more on this and let you know when the medical examiner arrives here on the scene.
RIVERA: All right, Lee Ann, thank you.
ALLEN: Terrible scene there of one of the victims who died. Still waiting for authorities to arrive there at Santana High School. Again, two dead: a victim there at the school, and a 15-year-old boy who died at a hospital a short time after shooting.
We have on the line with us from the sheriff's department, Pete Carillo.
Can you tell us, Deputy Carillo, how this happened today? What can you tell us about the shooting?
PETE CARILLO, SAN DIEGO SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: I can tell you at 9:22 this morning, we received a 911 call from the school office there on campus telling us that there was a shooting. Since then, the information that we can give out is that there is one person in custody and multiple victims. The victims have been evacuated. And right now, it's such a new investigation that it's a tactical operation, meaning that our SWAT team is still going through and clearing the campus looking for any additional victims and/or suspects.
ALLEN: Do you know if there's -- we've had 15 -- reports that 15 were injured now. We have two dead, 13 injured. Have there been any more victims found since those numbers were reported?
CARILLO: Well, again, as far as the sheriff is concerned, we're not giving out numbers until we can confirm that. I know that there are multiple students going to the school, and they've spoke to different media outlets, and this is where these numbers are coming from. But I spoke a short time ago to our lieutenant on the scene and there is no official numbers yet. They're planning a press conference here shortly and maybe we can get some new information on the scene there.
ALLEN: All right, understood. Can you tell us how was the gunman arrested? We haven't heard that.
CARILLO: I'm sorry, what was the question again?
ALLEN: How was the gunman arrested? Who subdued the gunman? Or did the gunman give himself up?
CARILLO: Well, again, I don't have that information. I can tell you as we speak they're about to start a press conference, so I hope we can get some new information there.
ALLEN: All right. And we're told that news conference is starting.
WILLIAM KOLENDER, SAN DIEGO COUNTY SHERIFF: OK, I'm Bill Kolender. I'm the sheriff of San Diego County. First thing I want to tell you is that we are all very, very sad and disheartened by what has occurred.
QUESTION: Could we ask you to speak up a little bit, please?
KOLENDER: We are all sad and disheartened about what has occurred. And we are doing our best to control the situation. And we're very pleased with the working relationship of the Grossmont school district, Santana High School, the California Highway Patrol, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, La Mesa PD, and the El Cajon PD.
About 9:20, we received a call of an assault on the school grounds. There was a deputy teaching a class at the school at the time. And the deputy arrived also at the scene within moments. We saw several people lying on the ground. We had information regarding a suspect.
At this point in time, there are 15 people that have been injured, and the suspect is in custody. He is not one of those injured. The suspect was using a handgun. Of the 15 people, two of them -- two of the juveniles are deceased. There are -- we're not sure how many, two or three adults, who were involved in the 15. They are supervisors at the school.
We have notified most of the parents and we have set up numbers that people can call if in fact they want to know more about the situation. If they want to know about their child, they can call the sheriff's department at 858-565-5200. That is for information and only for the parents to call. This is not a media telephone. They can call the Grossmont school district if they have any questions regarding the school: 619-644-8222.
Santana High School will be closed tomorrow and there will be people available to counsel the parents and the students. Right now, we are all in the process of attempting to notify anybody and meet whatever needs that the folks have. The next press conference will be at 2:00 this afternoon.
QUESTION: Could you reiterate again right off the top about exactly what went down when you got it, the information?
KOLENDER: The information we received was that there was an assault on the school grounds at 9:20 in the morning. When the deputy arrived within moments, there were students on the ground. They received information about the suspect, where the suspect was. The suspect is in custody. We tried to help the people who were there and they are in various hospitals throughout our county.
QUESTION: How did you get the suspect in custody?
KOLENDER: The deputies apprehended him. That's all for this point. QUESTION: Did he go peacefully or was there a...
KOLENDER: The suspect is not hurt at this point.
QUESTION: The deceased were students, a teacher? We understand that the kids they call like the narc and campus police-type person. Do you know who's dead?
KOLENDER: The students that are -- people that are deceased are in fact juveniles.
QUESTION: Are there anymore suspects?
KOLENDER: Not to our knowledge at this point. We are continuing the investigation. It's going to take some time.
QUESTION: Sheriff, we understand that the...
KOLENDER: He used a handgun. That's all I'm saying.
QUESTION: Sir, we understand that the student talked about maybe doing something like this earlier, maybe over the weekend.
KOLENDER: I don't know anything about that at this point.
QUESTION: How many dead so far?
KOLENDER: There are two people -- two juveniles deceased. There are 15 people total injured, including them, and a suspect in custody.
QUESTION: You said there were two adults. Were one of them a deputy?
QUESTION: How old was the suspect?
QUESTION: Can you talk about the severity of the injuries of the surviving...
KOLENDER: We do not know the severity of the injuries at this point. They are all at various hospitals within the county.
QUESTION: Sheriff, to the best of your knowledge, are you happy with the way everything was covered by the law enforcement agencies here?
KOLENDER: I am very impressed with the response of the sheriff's department, with the cooperation, not only of the school, but of the La Mesa Police, the California Highway Patrol, the El Cajon Police, district attorney's office investigators. The FBI is here. We have all been working together to do what we can to get this situation clarified and settled to the best of our ability.
QUESTION: Do you know anything about the suspect's brother possibly being involved?
KOLENDER: We do not.
QUESTION: Was there any indication that the suspect might have had bombs around the school?
KOLENDER: We have no information that the suspect had any bombs around the school. We sent bomb and arson as a matter of routine.
QUESTION: Where was the suspect located when the shooting occurred?
KOLENDER: We'll tell you that 2:00.
QUESTION: What was the age and gender of the people who died, sheriff?
KOLENDER: They were juveniles.
QUESTION: Sheriff, any idea on his motivation at this point?
KOLENDER: We do not know the motivation, we do not know the motive at this point.
QUESTION: Karen -- is Karen the principal here, and can you describe this individual...
KOLENDER: Karen is here, and she'll be happy to speak to you.
QUESTION: Karen, can you please talk to us about this individual, what kind of a student he was?
KOLENDER: Take it easy, take it easy. OK.
QUESTION: State your full name and spell it, please.
KAREN DEGISCHER, PRINCIPAL, SANTANA HIGH SCHOOL: I'm Karen Degischer, the principal and Santana High School.
QUESTION: Can you spell your name, please?
QUESTION: What did you know about this student, Karen?
DEGISCHER: I can't give information about the student.
QUESTION: Where were you when this happened.
There's others that say that he was a troubled student that has been on by students in the past. Is there any knowledge about that? (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that he's fighting out. He was rebelling?
DEGISCHER: I don't have any information about that.
QUESTION: Was this student a freshman?
DEGISCHER: I don't have that information as well.
QUESTION: Can you tell us what the situation was like from your perspective when your school had to kick into gear after you realized what happened?
QUESTION: Where were you and what did you see?
DEGISCHER: When I was first notified of the incident, I was at a meeting at the district office. There was an assistant principal that was in charge of the campus at that time. She is the one that made the 911 call.
QUESTION: Is there any kind of training or anything that makes you guys ready for something like this given that we all watched what happened at Columbine?
DEGISCHER: Absolutely. We have a plan in place, we have had drills with our staff. They know what to do in this situation.
QUESTION: What exactly can they do? What happened subsequent to the shooting? I mean, did they evacuate the kids...
DEGISCHER: No, the students were -- the students were detained in classrooms. They were swept into classrooms. It occurred between first block and second block. Some students are starting school second block, so some students are arriving at that time. So students were taken into classrooms.
QUESTION: Can you say anything about the victims that are deceased? Can you say anything about the deceased?
KOLENDER No, not at this time.
QUESTION: What kind of security measures at the school. Metal detectors, anything like that?
DEGISCHER: We have campus security personnel that are at the school that observe and supervise our students. No, we do not have metal detectors.
QUESTION: Are these police officers?
DEGISCHER: No, these are trained campus supervisors.
QUESTION: Karen, as a principal, what goes through your mind, especially what happened in Colorado a couple of years ago? What goes through your mind when something like this happens?
DEGISCHER: What goes through my mind is this is my worst nightmare. I'm very concerned about the students. I'm very concerned about their families right now. And I'm concerned about my staff.
QUESTION: What seemed to be the suspect's targets?
DEGISCHER: I don't know.
QUESTION: Karen, you want to tell us where the teachers meet tomorrow?
DEGISCHER: I'd like to make an announcement that there will be no school tomorrow for students at Santana High School. That there will be counseling available provided by our district and county mental health at the Sunrise Church located on Magnolia Avenue. And that the teachers and the staff of Santana High School need to meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Santee school district office.
QUESTION: You say that there was a plan in play. Was this implemented because of the Colorado shooting or after or has this always been?
DEGISCHER: No, schools have always had plans in place to deal with a variety of situations. And including you know, fire, earthquake, hostage situations and so forth. So we have had a plan in place for many years. I've been at the school for 14 years. There's been a plan in place all that time.
QUESTION: Can you really ever be prepared for something like this?
QUESTION: Karen, talk a little about your school. How old is it? How many students? What's it like on a normal day?
DEGISCHER: Well, this is certainly not a normal day. We have almost 1,900 students at Santana High School. It's a very close-knit staff and very close students.
DEGISCHER: No, not a very diverse population at all but a very tight-knit group of students that are very active in school activities.
QUESTION: What are you doing with the students who were immediately traumatized by the shooting? Is there some sort of counseling going on currently?
DEGISCHER: Currently, there's counseling set up Sunrise Church located on Magnolia Avenue. Parents and students that need support can go there, and that's open for them right now, and it will continue on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let's let the folks -- she's got things to go.
QUESTION: What's the percentage of the Latino background population of the school? And as well as...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She does not know the percentage. OK.
QUESTION: Can we hear from Dianne at all. I'm just wondering, you've been here all morning. Since this is your district, what's running through your mind?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diane, go ahead and step up
DIANNE JACOBS, COUNTY SUPERVISOR: First of all, I am shocked and dismayed as all of us are about this shooting. But I am extremely impressed with the very, very quick response by the sheriff's department, El Cajon Police, all the agencies that have come together in the school districts. Superintendent was here. All the school personnel. We are not going to let the shots that were fired today pierce the heart of this community. We will survive, and we will be stronger because of it. And my -- my deepest prayers go out to all of the families, the students and the faculty. I am here to make certain that all county resources can come to the school, to the faculty, to the students, to the community to meet whatever needs are here, not just today but for the coming weeks and months.
What kind of resources are we talking about?
JACOBS: Counseling services are available right now. And as the principal indicated, there will be counseling over at Sunrise Church, the mental health service. There may be some other services that I don't know about that are needed. But I will make sure that all resources necessary from the county come to this community to bring the needed help that's needed for all those.
KOLENDER: Listen, we will see to it that these things are taken care of. We have had very serious things like this in the past. Like I said, we are all saddened by this, but we will use every resource in this county to help the lives of the people who have been hurt by this incident.
At this time, I'd like to introduce the district attorney, Paul Pfingst, who has some things to say.
QUESTION: Do you have any idea of the people that were shot on campus, the deceased, are they still there?
KOLENDER: I don't know at this point.
QUESTION: Were the deceased boys or girls or can you tell me what year they were in the school or any information of the attack?
KOLENDER: All we know is that they're juveniles?
QUESTION: This was a random shooting, Bill?
KOLENDER: We don't know the motives. We don't know if it's random or not. The district attorney wants to talk a little bit about juveniles.
PAUL PFINGST, SAN DIEGO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: As you know, we have a 15-year-old... QUESTION: Talk in the mike, please. Please identify yourself.
QUESTION: Bring your mike down a little, thank you.
PFINGST: My name is Paul Pfingst. I'm the district attorney of San Diego County. As you're aware, there is a 15-year-old suspect in custody who is now going through our legal process. Some of you have raised questions about what does that mean in the light of Proposition 21 in San Diego County with regard to how juveniles are treated in the court system. It would appear at this stage that this juvenile is a mandatory direct file in adult court under Proposition 21. As you're aware recently, there was a case at the court of appeals questioning some aspects of Proposition 21. That appeal does not apply to this case. That appeal applied to an optional filing in adult court, not to a mandatory filing in adult court. So that case would not necessarily be applicable here. So I wanted to alert you to the fact that the stuff you learned about prior cases in Prop 21 may not apply here.
QUESTION: Does this mean again that he will be arraigned in felony court?
PFINGST: If this is a mandatory direct file, an adult court, there will be an arraignment in the superior court later this week The suspect -- now there are a number of things that may interfere with that that have not been resolved yet. We're still in our preliminary stages. But as a general proposition, under a crime like this in the state of California under Proposition 21, it would be a mandatory direct file in adult court. There are some areas that may change that, but that's not something I'm going to discuss with you right now.
QUESTION: At this point what charges are you looking into?
PFINGST: Obviously, in light of the fact that there are a number of deceased, we are looking at murder as being the most serious charge. The other charges involve use of a gun, assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and god willing, no one else will die. There will be another conference at 2:00. We'll have more information from you. Investigators are now putting together the case and interviewing literally hundreds and hundreds of witnesses. Anyone who has any information that they wish to share with sheriff investigators, please don't be alarmed that we don't get to you right away, because it's going to take some time. There is a task force of investigators that has been put together, including sheriffs, various police department, DAs, and federal participants who trying to work through all of the witness interviews.
It can only be said, again, you've heard it before, we never thought it could happen here. This is a sad day for all of us. To parents who are concerned about whether their children have been involved, please be patient. We expect a lot of phone calls. We're trying to get the most accurate information out to parents as soon as we can, but we wanted to make sure that the information is absolutely accurate. That's why we're going to ask your indulgence to give us until 2:00 where we can confirm some more of the information, talk about and get an assessment about the health of the victims to make sure that the death toll does not rise. So we'll see you all back there then.
QUESTION: Spell your last name, please.
PFINGST: P as in Peter, f as in Frank, i-n-g-s-t.
KOLENDER: Press conference at 2:00 will be held at the Santee...
ALLEN: As you heard, another update in an hour and a half. We heard from the prosecutor there, the principal and the sheriff, the principal, who wasn't at the school during the shooting. The 911 call we learned came from the assistant principal. We also learned that a sheriff's deputy was at the school conducting a class. And that sheriff's deputy is the one who apprehended the gunman. The gunman used a handgun. He is 15 years old. Fifteen people were shot. Of those 15, as we've already reported, two students are dead. Of the injured, two or three were adult supervisors there at the school. The school is closed tomorrow and no more information about how the student was apprehended, what the student's motivation was. But as we've reported from several of this gunman's friends who talked with reporters there at the scene, this gunman apparently told his friends over the weekend that he was going to do this. And no one took him seriously.
We will take a break. We'll have more for you after this.
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