The United States has seen many mass shootings, especially in recent years. In fact, this year it felt as if they were happening back-to-back with the El Paso Walmart shooting happening at the end of August and the downtown Dayton, Ohio shooting occurring literally hours after. Now two teens are dead after a devastating shooting that took place at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California.
According to reports, the 16-year-old suspect who has been identified as Nathaniel Berhow — who authorities described as a young Asian male — pulled a handgun from his backpack at his high school, Saugus High School Thursday morning and shot five students, leaving two dead. It happened all in a matter of seconds and the gunman himself is reported to be in pretty critical condition after shooting himself in the head. Thursday was also the gunman’s birthday.
The two victims who died included a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy — both students at the high school and both died at the hospital. Three victims were injured and were identified as a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl, and a 14-year-old boy. Video surveillance footage that was obtained clearly showed the shooter shooting his schoolmates and then himself.
Authorities are still looking into the motive behind the shooting and background on the gunman, including trying to track his social media account which apparently was taken down shortly after the mass shooting. No detailed information on him or any of the victims has yet to be released.
“With a heavy heart, we are going to move on with the investigation and figure out what went wrong,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told Anderson Cooper. “I hate to have Saugus be added to the names of Columbine, Parkland, Sandy Hook but it’s a reality that affects us all throughout the nation — something that we’re going to have to figure out.”
While information regarding the victim’s race or ethnicities has yet to be revealed, it is interesting to note that Santa Clarita is a predominately Latino neighborhood with 32 percent of the city’s population consisting of Latinos. The neighborhood was considered to be a safe haven after being named the third safest city to live in America due to the lack of violence and the low number of sex offenders per capita.
What’s particularly upsetting about this shooting is how despite the constant dialogue around what needs to be done around gone control, these shootings continue to keep happening and continue to plague our nation. By October of this year there had already been at least 21 deadly mass shootings in the United States, including the El Paso shooting, the Dayton, Ohio shooting, and the Odessa-Midland Texas shooting — just to name a few. The shootings have happened as frequently as they sound, with at least one every single month since January 2019. California alone has seen a number of shootings this year in areas including Long Beach, Orinda, and Gilroy. It’s ironic considering California has some of the country’s toughest gun laws but it’s mostly likely strong do to the fact that it’s still relatively easy to bring in guns from other states where the laws are significantly weaker.
With the 2020 elections approaching soon, gun control needs to be prioritized on politicians’ main agendas. We have become a nation known for their mass shootings and it’s unacceptable how we have sat back and just allowed this to continue. Our hearts go out to the victims of this tragic incident.
This story will be updated as new information is revealed.