Classmates gave clothing, bus fare to student so he could elude police after Gardena shooting, sources say
The 17-year-old student who took a loaded gun to Gardena High School in his backpack and two classmates are expected to face charges in court on Friday, law enforcement sources have told The Times.
Police said the teen who brought the gun to school is likely to be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. According to one source, he was on probation for a misdemeanor battery conviction. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said he reportedly stole the weapon from his stepfather.
The boy brought the gun to school, and it accidentally went off during a health class. A single round from the 9-millimeter Beretta tore through a 15-year-old boy's neck and struck a girl in the skull. She remains in critical condition. The boy was discharged from the hospital.
The source said that in the chaos after the mid-morning shooting Tuesday, the suspect gave his backpack to a girl and another boy provided him with a sweatshirt to change his appearance.
One of the suspects also gave him money for bus fare to flee the area, the source said. Police said the backpack has not been located.
The two classmates were arrested on charges connected with aiding the student after the shooting.
The 17-year-old and the two students who allegedly helped him are expected to appear Friday in Juvenile Court.
-- Andrew Blankstein