Student who brought gun to Gardena High School won't be charged with attempted murder
Law-enforcement officials said they did not expect the 17-year-old student whose gun went off in a Gardena High School classroom, injuring two classmates, to be charged with attempted murder.
Rather, the Los Angeles Police Department said he would be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
The news comes as students are set to return to the Gardena campus, which was the scene of the chaotic incident Tuesday that left the school in lockdown for hours. Grief counselors will be on hand at the school.
Prosecutors have not said when they will formally charge the boy and whether he will be charged as an adult. Law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times that part of the investigation was centering on whether the teen had been the subject of bullying. Some friends said he had brought the gun to school for protection.
The two wounded students, both 15, were taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where a girl who had been shot in the head underwent lengthy surgery. She was in critical condition with a skull fracture and brain trauma. A boy who had been shot in the neck was listed as stable; his wound is not considered life-threatening.
Police said the two might have been struck by a single bullet. The gun apparently went off in the classroom when the teen put down his backpack.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is expected on Wednesday to take up the issue of whether security and weapons screenings need to be updated.
Steven Zipperman, the school district's police chief, told the school board Tuesday that it was possible the 17-year-old suspect was not checked for weapons.
District officials have required searches since 1993, largely leaving principals to decide the details of when and where to conduct them. Incoming Supt. John Deasy said he convened a meeting Tuesday with school and district staff members to consider whether the policy should be updated.
-- Robert J. Lopez and Shan Li
Photo: A student is searched before entering the Gardena High School campus on Wednesday morning. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times