In California, a student opened fire on the campus of Saugus High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita Thursday, killing two students and wounding three others. Authorities have not identified the teen but say the rampage came on his 16th birthday. Police say surveillance video clearly shows him pulling a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun from his backpack, opening fire on fellow classmates in an outdoor area of the school, before turning the gun on himself. He survived a gunshot to the head and was hospitalized in grave condition. The mass shooting prompted a panicked evacuation and a massive police response. This is Saugus High School senior Ellie Pearlman.
Ellie Pearlman: “It’s so scary now. It’s like every day there’s another report, so any time there’s like a loud noise or any sort of threat, we lock down. And so, for a second, it was just another lockdown. And then it was real.”
The group Everytown for Gun Safety reports it was the 85th incident of gunfire on school grounds so far this year. It came as U.S. senators were debating a bill to require universal background checks for all gun purchases. The bill passed the Democratic-led House earlier this year but stalled in the Senate Thursday when Mississippi Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith demanded more time to debate the legislation.