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Gardena High shooting: Should campus metal detectors have found gun?

January 18, 2011 |  1:26 pm

Authorities said they trying to determine whether metal detectors used randomly at Gardena High School should have revealed a gun that was reportedly brought onto campus by a student and that discharged during a morning class Tuesday, injuring two students.

Authorities said that campus officials are armed with “wands” that are used to determine whether students and other coming onto campus are armed with a weapon.

LAPD Sgt. George Sandoval said the security devices are used randomly, but frequently enough that many of the students are checked. He said the wands are used through L.A. Unified schools in Los Angeles.

The incident at Gardena High began at 10:30 a.m. when a still-unidentified student walked into a health class and dropped his backpack on the ground, causing a gun to discharge, said LAPD Deputy Chief Pat Gannon at a morning news conference on campus.

A single round from the gun struck a 15-year-old girl in the head and wounded a nearby 15-year-old boy in the neck, Gannon said. The girl, he said, is in critical condition and undergoing emergency surgery. The boy is listed in stable condition.

When the gun discharged, the student bolted from the room and ran to an adjacent classroom, Gannon said. The student was later arrested and led from campus in handcuffs.

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-- Jeff Gottlieb

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