A community vigil is scheduled Sunday evening in Santa Clarita for the victims of last week’s shooting at Saugus High School.
The 7 p.m. vigil in the city’s Central Park will also be streamed live on the Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/signalscvat.
Meanwhile, officials with the William S. Hart Union High School District have announced that Saugus High School will remain closed until Dec. 2, although students will have limited access to the campus starting Tuesday for counseling and other services. All other district schools will reopen Monday.
In an email distributed Saturday and posted on the District website, Deputy Superintendent Mike Kuhlman said “We have decided to slowly open access to the campus and to provide optional supportive activities for students this coming week.
“Students choosing to come back to campus will be surrounded by law enforcement officers, mental health professionals, community members and friends offering love and encouragement. Family members are welcome to participate. Principal Vince Ferry will be reaching out to Saugus families with additional details soon.”
Counseling and an increased police presence will also be available at the District’s remaining 15 schools as normally scheduled classes resume.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we approach this task.” Kuhlman said. “We cannot lose sight of the fact that there are families in our community whose lives have been shattered by the events of this past week. Let us commit to caring for them — and for one another — as we take the first few steps toward healing and the resolution of positive daily routines for our children and loved ones.”
One of two girls, ages 14 and 15, who had remained hospitalized following Thursday’s shooting, was released Saturday. Her family issued a statement about plans for the girl to continue her recovery at home, but did not include her name.
“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,” the statement said.
The 16-year-old shooter, Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, a junior at the high school, died at 3:32 p.m. Friday, according to the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department. Sheriff’s officials said his mother was with him when he died.
Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15, succumbed to her injuries at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital at nearly 9:30 a.m. Thursday almost two hours after the shooting. She had just celebrated her birthday Oct. 10. An authorized GoFundMe account for Muehlberger’s family has raised nearly $100,000.
The second student killed during the shooting was identified as Dominic Blackwell, who turned 14 in September. A GoFundMe for his family, has raised nearly $80,000.
The shooting occurred shortly before 7:40 a.m. Thursday on the campus at 21900 Centurian Way in Santa Clarita when Berhow walked into the campus quad and shot five classmates, two of them fatally, then turned the gun on himself.
Authorities have said the shootings appeared planned, but the victims were random, and they remained stymied as to the motive.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and other investigators, said Friday there appeared to be no discernable link between the shooter and the victims, other than they were students at Saugus High School.
Berhow didn’t appear to have “any interaction with anyone” prior to the shooting. He was standing by himself, Villanueva said.
As of Friday, investigators had identified six firearms that were registered to the suspect’s late father, and all of those weapons have been accounted for — but the gun used by Berhow was not one of them, he said.
Villanueva said there were several firearms recovered from the house that “were not the ones registered to the father. Some of these firearms were not registered at all.’
“We’re going to have to go through and finish the investigation to account for all of the firearms and match them up with a source and the relationship with the weapon that we recovered at the scene.”
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