LOS ANGELES Students say school shooting was an accident


Associated Press

LOS ANGELES

A classmate of a 12-year-old girl considered a person of interest in a shooting at a Los Angeles school says it was an accident.

Twelve-year-old Jordan Valenzuela tells The Associated Press that he talked to the girl just after the shooting.

He says she was sobbing and kept repeating, “I didn’t mean it.” He says she told him the gun was in her backpack and that it accidentally went off when she dropped the bag.

The shooting left one teenager critically wounded and three other children injured.

Benjamin Urbina, another classmate of the 12-year-old girl, also says the girl didn’t mean to shoot anyone, saying she thought it was a toy gun.

LA police spokesman Josh Rubenstein said, “no particular theory has been ruled out.”

Police arrested the girl and recovered a gun after the shooting that happened just before 9 a.m. at Salvador B. Castro Middle School near downtown, said Steve Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles Unified School District police force. A possible motive was not identified.

News footage showed a dark-haired girl in a sweatshirt being led from the school in handcuffs as anxious parents and family members gathered on a street corner, talking on their phones and awaiting word about their children.

The district has a policy requiring every middle- and high-school campus to conduct daily random searches by metal-detector wands at different hours of the school day for students in the sixth grade and up.

The most seriously injured victim, a 15-year-old boy shot in the head, was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and remained in intensive care during the afternoon but was doing well.

A 15-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to the wrist was hospitalized in fair condition. An 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were grazed and were treated and released from the hospital.

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