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Gardena High student a 'sweetheart' who would not intentionally harm classmates, friends say

Friends who know the student believed to be at the center of the shooting at Gardena High School said they are sure he had no intention to harm his classmates.

"He was a sweetheart, always smiling and hugging people," classmate Para Ross said.

Ross, who is in the 11th grade, and others said that the student carried the gun for protection.

"I think he was just scared -- scared of what was going to happen when he left school and took the bus home," Ross said. "There are a lot of gangs around here. People are dying."

Brian Rogers, a sophomore, said that he had known the boy for a year and that he was not a violent person.

"He never would have done this on purpose," Rogers said.

Another student, Pamela Ezeanioma, said that he was popular and "always showed respect."


Photos: Gardena High School shooting

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

Girl shot in Gardena High classroom fighting for her life

-- Sam Allen at Gardena High School

Comments () | Archives (33)

My cousin graduated from Gardena High in 2009 and was constantly in fear of getting beat up and with good reason because he got jumped a few times, once severely. On top of that, teachers He's as nice as they come and doesn't even remotely resemble a gang member. I'm not justifying a teenager bringing a gun to school, but if the situation hasn't improved since my cousin attended, I can see why a kid would be fearful of his life.

A sweetheart with a gun...I don't think so.

Well if he wouldnt have brought this gun to school this young girl never would have ben shot in the head! I dont care if he was a sweetheart or not, he never should have brought a gun to school. If this was your child shot in the head you would not be defending this!

He took a gun to school. Period, the end.

I live half a block away - this is why neither my daughter nor my stepson go to this schoo - the M.O. has not changed - What the hell is a student taking a gun to school for anyway? if there were a reason, the better solution would be not to go to Gardena High - BAD part is, now this, coupled with the Arizona shooting will make Gun haters, have even more of a reason to try to Ban our amendment right to bear arms...this is a shame, as the US govt is just looking for reasons to disarm America, so when they institute Martial Law (already started at Wal Martials) - it will be easier to impose their coming New World Order....

I figured as much when as more details about what happened was reported that he may have had the gun for protection. It is a sad day when our children cannot depend on us to save them from those bullying/harassing them so they try as best they can to handle it themselves. Unfortunately with serious results.

Guns don't fire when they're bumped, unless, possibly, if they're already cocked. It sounds like people (at least some of the kids) may have known this kid was carrying a weapon to school. Can the LA Times fill in some basic information here? If kids say they knew he carried a gun, why did no one stop him? How did he get it past the school's metal detectors? Whose gun is it?

Such a sweetheart..........So why did he have a gun in his backpack?

I went to a similar school. Are we ready for gun laws yet?

Hearing this is awful. Apparently this is a nice boy who himself feared getting jumped and beat up, which is why he carried a weapon. I'm not justifying it, but until schools become a safe and clean place where kids can relax and not have any fears, it will only get worse! It's a sign of the times. I feel horrible for the two kids that got shot, and I feel just as bad for the youth who had the gun in his backpack...it seems to just be a horrific accident.

Aweful turn of events. In my opinion the kid should be sentenced to assault with a deadly weapon with a gun enhancement. he should face at least 20 years in prison.. as i've said many times before.. some people have nightmares, others live them

I graduated from Gardena High School in 1958. We didn't have problems like this. We also didn't have backpacks. The worse thing that could happen then is that a female student was suspended from school for being pregnant. Times sure have changed..and not for the better, I see. *sigh*

these kinds of schools need more security and have every student pass through a metal detector before entering campus! This is what it has to come down to sooner or later! It's sad, but true.

Its a sad situation when the good kids are held hostage by thugs with guns, and the good kids lose their lives and the rotten kids get to run the streets and kill more good kids. I honestly don't know what keeps some of these families staying in LA. This kid was probably in big fear of his life, and felt safer bringing a gun with him. Death of young teenage kids is all to common place up there for the youth and a reality for any of the kids out there, and that is just too much to deal with at that age. But the domestic terrorists, aka LA gang bangers, just run the streets up there, and nobody is safe.

He's a sweety pie that shot an innocent girl in the temple....super sweet guy

why is it that the kids knew he brought a gun to school an no-one said anything?

Those of you who are judging this boy harshly for bringing a gun to school should spend a day in his shoes. He is only 15, looks to be of slight build and likely had to defend himself everyday just to go to school. He also had to ride the bus in gang infested areas. Do not judge until you have walked a mile in his shoes. It should be of paramount importance to school and city officials that schools be made safe. No child should have to live like this.

So I guess he accidentally squeezed the trigger 3 times too huh? I wish people would stop defending these idiots.

If he truly had no intention of hurting anybody, he wouldn't have been carrying a loaded gun around...& one with the safety off at that.

That sweetheart shot 2 people in the neck and head! WTF kind of idiot thinks that is the act of a sweetheart?

"He's a Sweetheart"...well then, let's let him go....

yeah, that's sarcasm

I can tell by the comments that most of you aren't from Gardena. There are gang problems here. Many children do have defend themselves on a daily basis. It can be very scary. Yes, carrying a gun to school was a stupid idea. But, then again young teens do make the wrong decisions on how to handle stressful situations. We don't know this young man so we can't judge. I pray that the victims have perfect and speedy recovery.

Poor young man. Now that I understand what a "sweetheart" he is and how "popular" and how he carried himself with so much "respect" for everyone, I have no problem forgetting the fact that he INTENTIONALLY CARRIED A LOADED GUN TO SCHOOL.

I'm sure the victims and their familes and friends won't have any trouble forgiving the nice young shooter for that either.

A recent study showed that persons who display a gun when they are assulted are 4.5 times as likely to be shot thabn those who did not have a gun - some protection!

wish I could say accidents happen in this case, but bringing a gun to school is just wrong. This kid has just messed his life up for good or at least for a very long time. I can sympathise with him being afraid of gangs if that's the case, but endangering other kids lives is unacceptable.

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