A 12-year-old girl was taken into custody Thursday after a shooting in a Los Angeles middle-school classroom in which five people were injured, including a 15 year-old-boy who was shot in the head but expected to survive, police said.
The boy was listed in critical but stable condition at a local hospital after the shooting at Sal Castro Middle School. A 15-year old girl who was hit in the wrist was in stable condition, Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Wendy Reyes said. The two victims were students at the school, but it was not immediately clear whether the girl who was taken into custody was also a student there, she said.
“The person of interest is 12 years old,” Steven Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles School Police Department, said in a news conference. “This is preliminary information that we have received.”
The shooting was the latest outbreak of gun violence at a U.S. school.
On January 20, a 15-year-old boy opened fire at a high school in Benton, Kentucky, killing two students and wounding several others, authorities said.
In Thursday’s shooting in Los Angeles, three people had slight injuries from shrapnel in addition to the two who were shot, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott told the news conference. Those three victims ranged in age from 11 to 30 years old.
A gun was recovered from the scene, police said.
The middle school and a neighboring high school were placed on lockdown after the shooting, as parents stood outside hoping to be reunited with their children.
Instruction would continue at the school on Thursday, with counselors helping students deal with the emotional aftermath of the violence, officials said.
Authorities said they were seeking to determine how the gun was brought on campus. Zipperman said students most commonly take a gun from the home of a parent or other family member.
In the past, adults have been prosecuted in Los Angeles for allowing children access to guns, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said at the news conference.
If authorities determine the girl was the shooter, she would not be the youngest person to open fire at a school. In 2000, a 6-year-old boy shot and killed a classmate at a campus in Michigan, according to media reports at the time.