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Campus aide who found gun at Gardena High describes aftermath of shooting

Gardena_lf8r3mnc A campus aide said she found the gun that went off in a Gardena High School classroom, injuring two students, after students running from the classroom pointed her to where the gun was laying in the hallway.

Hoda Makkar, who has worked at the school for about one and a half years, described it as black, about a foot long and "not small." Police said the weapon is a 9mm Beretta semiautomatic handgun.

Immediately after the shooting, Makkar said students ran from the classroom. They told her the suspect had pulled the gun out of the backpack after it discharged, ran out of the class and threw it in the hallway nearby.

All aides and administrators were told by radio to head to that classroom to help out after the shooting.

"Kids were running out, kids were crying," she said. " Some came running up to me and said you have to get the gun, you have to get the gun! I went to the classroom and asked, 'Where is it?' They pointed it out in the hallway."

Makkar said she knows the boy who police said brought the gun to campus and would talk to him frequently.

"He was one of those who came to school angry," she said. "He walked around a lot with his fists up all the time." Makkar said he never got in fights but would just run his mouth a lot. His parents came in fairly often to speak to the counselors. His mother, who Makkar described as "really caring," came in once a week to talk to his counselor, check up on him, or bring him lunch.

Several friends of the boy said he brought the gun for protection and that he was a nice kid who would not intentionally hurt anyone.

"I thought he was doing better," Makkar said, shaking her head. "That's why I was shocked. Bringing a gun to school? That is so dumb."


Photos: Gardena High School shooting

Girl shot in Gardena High classroom fighting for her life

Gardena High student had brought gun to school previously for protection, friend says

-- Shan Li at Gardena High School

Photo: At left, student Breana Hill, 15, and her mother Lichelle, center, reconnect outside the police line after the shooting at Gardena High School Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times


Comments () | Archives (24)

Isn't is strange that several classmates who were interviewed had the total opposite opinion than this Ms/Mrs Makkar??
For now I'm inclined to believe the classmates over hér.

He's a boy with anger issues, not a monster!

Do not be so quick to condemn a child.

He did not get the psychiatric or counselling treatment that he needed.

Who failed?...the troubled boy, or his community?

It's an accident, people....and he was wrong to have a gun in school, and an innocent little girl will probably die as a result....but it was an accident that could happen to any teenager who makes a bad decision to carry a gun.

This is what politicians are claiming for, Schools with Kids that have no rules and no respect for others, with guns in school? We could blame the parents but the system has the parents without authority over their children.

I don't think this boy is a monster at all...from what I've read, he's a nice kid who kept a gun in his back pack for protection...because he had encountered problems on his way to and from school. I'm not saying that's a smart move, but according to all the other kids at school, he seems to be a nice and respectful young man who simply was tired of getting harrassed on his way home from school. The gun going off was a total accident and I feel bad for this youth who now will have to face the consequences. Needless to say, my heart goes out the the two injured students, and him as well.

Another lovely day at school in the LAUSD.

I love how people like to blame parents when these things happen. How is it the fault of a caring, involved mother that her son feels threatened at school? What, exactly, can she do about that other than move which she may not have the means to do. It is the fault of the school and the surrounding community for not making safety a number one priority.


And just how/where does a 17 year old get his hands on a semiautomatic? And where is the justification for allowing this kind of weapon?
Sorry people, I was raised, went to school, worked, went to college & used to live in a very, very bad gang area & never ever felt the need to carry a gun.

I don't get why you some of you guys are defending the suspect. I think he is just a kid but if you were the one shot in the head, you wouldn't me talking. Lets just hope nothing like this every happens again and the boy fully understands the circumstances of his actions.

Seriously? After this accident happened ... the guy thinks it's best to run out and throw the gun down a hallway? Sounds like he has the same mentality as the people who keep driving after they run over someone with their car! Don't say it's his age - I would NEVER have reacted that way at ANY age. Also, I'm from rural Texas and all of us would take guns to school EVERYDAY (to go hunting after school) and NOTHING like this EVER happened. IT IS PEOPLE BEING STUPID ... not the gun, or the car, or the baseball bat, or the knife, or the axe, or the ... you get my point and most of it comes from bad parenting - ultimately.

This is not a society issue, a parenting issue, a video game or movie issue. Its simply a bad seed. Parents cant be there 24/7 and society with and without its faults churns out great productive people all over the place. Some people are just dumb bad seeds who do things like this, its a foolish concept to think he could have been fixed as he was obviously a ticking time bomb. Its no different then other killers and criminals sometimes people make the point that they were so great and nice and then they snap.

It's about time parents stop blaming the school system for failing their little darlings and take responsibity for their offspring ! If you can't control your child by being a parent and NOT THEIR FRIEND, YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR KNEES TOGETHER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First off this kid is in high school and is of the age to know right from wrong. his first felony charge should be carrying a concealed weapon, his second charge should be bringing a gun on to school property, and 2 counts of attempted murder should be filed as well. He should be prosecuted as an adult and be required to the maximum time. Considering he is on probation this should be a life sentence for him.

Many people are quick to blame the parents and campus aide but when are people going to start blaming the kid? It is clear that the boy was/ is troubled and has sole responsibility for what he did. Where would a kid his age be able to locate a gun? Why would he feel threatened if he wasn't involved in mischievous acts? Why would the schools feel the need to have metal detectors for guns? All these questions lead to the fact that the kid is without a doubt, part of the messed up community here in Los Angeles. If anybody wants to blame someone else besides the kid, why not start with his friends that knew he had possession of a gun in school everyday? Even siding with the students is ridiculous... wouldn't you think that they are also in his defense? No child that carries a gun to school is nice and history proves that!

What a friendly minute here everybody, who said here that 'this kid' is not a monster' and that' this is society's fault' etc. First off answer the question as to whether you would comment the same way if your kid was one of the two injured ones in this incident! I think that in that case you would immediately have a serious beef with the perpetrator.
Number two: where did this kid get a 9mm Beretta from (if not from his parents), complete with ammunition, why did he get it in the first place, and why did he took it to school loaded? When you're 16 year old you don't run around with a loaded gun of that kind for no reason, don't try to sell me that BS!

Gee, those strict gun control laws in Kalifornya work really well.
The parents need to be held liable for their kid's action packing a gun to school. That is just plain irresponsible and just creates more headaches for us law-abiding responsible firearms owners.

Now if he only tokeb a little of mary janes herb, he wouldnt be so angry and we wouldnt have this problem now!

It is physically IMPOSSIBLE for a modern handgun (which includes the Beretta 9mm) to "just go off" or go off "accidentally." (Don't ask me how I know, but you can drop a gun onto the cement and it won't fire; there's no way it discharged because he "bumped" it.) If he didn't intend to shoot, the most likely scenario is that he reached into the backpack and squeezed the trigger (maybe he was secretly playing with the gun in class). Otherwise, after the shot, why reach into the backpack, pull out the gun, and drop it in the hallway? He had it in his hand already. Occam's Razor applies, even in Gardena.

Those of you who try to downplay this incident look up the Wikipedia article for Beretta 92 to get an idea about this gun. This is not a cheap 22 caliber toy, or a BB gun that you pick up at your local sports store for scaring away squirrels.
Also, unfortunately the article is silent about it, but it would be interesting to know if the gun had a standard (10 round) magazine, or perhaps an extended one (15 or 20 rounds). That would (and will) tell a lot about what intent this gun was purchased and carried around for.

i believe it was just an accident.
i mean if his friends and family says he was a "sweet heart"
than he probably was, what thay need to do is figure out why
the boy was so afraid of school, or someone at school,
that he felt the need to bring a gun to school.

I was at Jeff when a kid dropped his backpack and shot himself in the leg, I actually know the kid. So those of you who say a gun cant accidently go off are wrong. Gardena isnt a bad place at all EXCEPT you have those kids who think they live in "L.A." and think they can live off the South Central credit to be "thugs" if you live in a nice area you arent a thug... Be proud of what your not and get your education.

why did he take it in the first place

Chances are that our kids are going to be exposed to guns at some point weather we like it or not. It's best to properly educate them in function and safe handling practices rather than keeping them in the dark. I'm not saying that this child should have had a gun in the first place, but had this child had even basic handgun safety training this unfortunate incident would have never happened.

The Beretta model 92 won the competition in the early 1980s to replace the model 1911 for use in the U.S. military. The first pull of the trigger is double-action, which means it has to be squeezed all the way to pull back the hammer. The gun would not have suddenly gone off in the back pack, even if you dropped it. It sounds like the shooter acted intentionally.


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