‘I believe I bought shot’: California college students huddled terrified in barricaded lecture rooms

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SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (Information) – The scholars inside a barricaded choir classroom had been huddled at the hours of darkness minutes after pictures rang out at Saugus Excessive Faculty in Southern California on Thursday, when one them stated: “I believe I bought shot.”

L.A. County Sheriff’s Division (LASD) Particular Enforcement Bureau (SEB) members are pictured after a search following a taking pictures at Saugus Excessive Faculty in Santa Clarita, California, U.S., November 14, 2019 on this picture obtained from social media. LASD SEB by way of Information

Katie Holt, a tremendous arts trainer, had pushed the piano within the music room in opposition to the classroom door, two college students within the room advised Information afterward, and grabbed a hearth extinguisher, presumably to make use of as a weapon.

“She turned off the lights… She locked all of the doorways. She pushed the piano to the door, completely barricading,” stated Eddie Mendoza, 17 in a cellphone interview, his voice nonetheless breaking from emotion and grief.

At 7:38 a.m., a highschool scholar on his 16th birthday, whose identify has not been launched, opened hearth exterior Saugus Excessive Faculty in Santa Clarita, killing a 16-year-old lady and a 14-year-old boy and wounding three different teenagers earlier than taking pictures himself within the head, officers stated.

College students exterior fled in panic, whereas these inside ran to security in lecture rooms, as they’d been repeatedly drilled to do.

One in every of them was one of many gunman’s victims, Mendoza stated.

“I believe I’m bleeding. I believe I bought shot,” he recalled her saying. “It was simply so laborious listening to her say ‘I need my mother,’ it was heartbreaking,” Mendoza stated.

‘CALM AND COLLECTED’

One other scholar who recognized herself solely as Pamela stated Holt retrieved a primary support package that was within the classroom and commenced treating the lady’s wounds on her shoulder and torso.

“Our trainer was very calm and picked up,” Pamela stated, including that the scholars all remained calm. Even the wounded lady, who remained aware and alert, saved speaking and “making jokes to deal with it.”

Mendoza stated of the trainer was “actually a hero.”

“We did our greatest, we known as 911 4 occasions, we advised them the place we had been.”

Pamela stated roughly 35 college students had been holed up in Holt’s small workplace adjoining to the music room for about 29 minutes earlier than they heard police pounding on the barricaded choir room door.

About seven officers then ushered the scholars out of the interior workplace into the choir room, with the scholars ordered to maintain their arms raised to their heads.

“All of us put our arms up,” Mendoza stated, “everybody crying and shaking.”

With the college on lockdown, they had been advised to sit down on the choir risers, the place they had been saved for about two hours earlier than being escorted out of the college, Pamela stated.

A sheriff places on tactical gear after a taking pictures at Saugus Excessive Faculty in Santa Clarita, California, U.S., November 14, 2019 on this nonetheless picture obtained from social media video. KHTS Radio by way of Information

College students had been taken by college bus to a reunification level at Santa Clarita’s Central Park to satisfy their dad and mom.

Pamela stated the ordeal left her feeling “numb,” as she sought to console different classmates shaken by the occasions. “I simply really feel distant from it,” she stated.

Her father, standing beside her, stated, “I’m certain it is going to hit you later.”

Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York and Steve Gorman in Santa Clarita; writing by Invoice Tarrant; Modifying by Invoice Berkrot