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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.


Photos: Gardena High School shooting

Anxious students undergo weapons search at Gardena High

Gardena High School violated district's weapons-check policy, top LAUSD official says

-- 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

Comments () | Archives (81)

Simple word for this kid...IDIOT! His life as he currently knows it is now screwed beyond belief.

But hey, he played with fire, and now he's gonna get burned. No amount of remorse will change that.

Where did he get the gun?

Which gun law was broken?

Kids who bring weapons to school should be severely caned before spending the rest of his life in prison. He destroyed another person's life who will never be the same. When are we going to stop coddling these monsters? And their parents who are to blame.

For several decades schools have stopped corporal punishment. As a result kids are not respectful, don't study, are petty thieves, and hurt other people. I guess we are all to blame but the left wing do gooders are more so.

LAUSD students need to have a gun safety course?

the question still remains what events made him bring a gun to school u can post up a 1000 cops a 1000000 searches and never solve the problem until that question is answered

Great! Now the police and DA in LA County decide if there was any bullying, it justifies a lower level of charges. Now every kid caught with a gun in his or her backpack will say they are being bullied. Its the new word du jour!
How about the girl with the bullet wound to her head who may never be right? How about the other victim? They did not bully anyone! How about gross negligence that made a gun with a SAFETY go off without pulling the trigger? Sorry, the story tells everyone exactly what is wrong with LA City and County!

So, why would it matter if he was being bullied or not?
In violation of penal code 626.9 which bans the posession of a firearm within 1000 yards of a school zone :

PC 626.9 (f) (1) Any person who violates subdivision (b) by possessing a
firearm in, or on the grounds of, a public or private school
providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive,
shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three,
or five years.

Then there is the Assault with a deadly weapon charge...

Whether he was being bullied, or just a kid that was angry at the world, should not excuse him from prosecution of ALL the laws he violated...

And if it was his parents gun, they can be prosecuted as well by not having the gun secured so that he could not access it...

Some how I have a hard problem believing that an officer said that the backpack was missing and that it wasn't a necessary part of the investigation? I would think otherwise, would show where the bullet went through and the trajectory. Where the kids sitting next to each other? If the backpack was put on a desk, wouldn't the trajectory of the bullet be more of on a plane rather than at an angle to go through a throat and then to a brain? I'm not a ballistics expert, but, just something to think about.

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.
"It was possible"? I work in a high school here in LA Unified and I will tell you NONE of our students were checked this morning for guns/weapons. Period. We have a back gate where 70% of our students enter school and no one is monitoring that entrance. They alson do not do random searches every day.

It's not alright to bring guns to school and this kid better see a lengthy sentence or justice will have not been served.

But wait, aren't schools gun free zones?

Oh, that's right. The only people that follow the law are law abiding citizens. Criminals break the law, do as they please, and in doing so the rights of law abiding citizens are being slowly eroded.

We don't need more laws, we need better enforcement of the thousands and thousands of laws on the books. And better parenting, and better teachers as well.

I just want to say we need to pray for all of the students ivolved with this tregic incident, times are so bad and they don't seem to get any better but violence, guns, it is not the soloution. Children know not of the danger of carrying weapons and things like this happens. I don't know what it is going to take beside the work and miracles of God to stop this mess but we all need to band togather as parents, and individuals to focus on showing our children that this is definately not the way. My prayers goes out to the injured teens and also to the young man that caused the damage. May they all be blessed and come to a full recovery. God Bless you all

The LAUSD doesn't begin to have the personnel to wand every student in every school. They never did. As for how this happened, there are several things wrong (?) with this story.

1. The student was transferred from Compton High because he got into "a" fight, it was stated that he is on probation? While I beleive that he is probably on probation, and it may be for fighting, I don't belive for a minute that he was transferred for only one fight! Unless the parents of the victims are pressing for a lawsuit, the transferring of students for aberent behavior is a long drawn out process.Unless there is a history of serious trouble making, that student would NOT have been transferred for one (1) fight.

2. Early on in the reports, Channel 9 interviewed someone who stated that the student was attempting to put the safety on the gun when it went off. If this is true, then the gun was OUT of the backpack, and begs the question of WHERE WAS THE TEACHER WHEN HE WAS DOING THIS!

And finally, if this student

3. The officers have the student in custody, and the gun, but supposedly they are looking for the backpack. If the gun fired WHILE in the backpack, why is only the backpack missing? If the gun was inside the backpack when it fired, shouldn't it be missing along with the backpack?

4. If this student took this weapon to school because he feared being bullied, then why didn't he mention this to school officials or his parents. I think this explaination is a bunch of hooey!

And for all of you who think that wanding for weapons is the solution, don't. Those who want to make trouble will always find ways around these devices, which by-the-way, don't have a deep penatration anyway. Weapons are made of a lot of materials--not just metal.

"Bring" and "Take" are not interchangeable.

I wouldn't be surprised if we found out later on that kid with the gun wasn't as innocent as they think. My guess is that he's a gang member or at least 'associated' with gangs. Sounds pretty extreme to be packing a gun just because of bullys.

Teenagers most often don't process actions with outcomes, and as such make decisions they aren't really capable of processing as of yet. We have become so outraged about violence in this society that we don't, can't give credence to the fact that accidents do happen, and we are quick to judge, and condemn. This event is horrible, but I think all the evidence needs to be weighed before a decision is made. The kid may have been bringing the gun out of fear of his own life, in LA as a young African American male, is really a reality for this kid.Its one thing if it was an action of intended malice, but if not, grace needs to be given. I would hate to see a kid who for all who know him say he is a good kid, totally ruin his life. Some mistakes have a high cost, but teens do stupid stuff all the time. I know two kids are suffering at the cost of this mistake, and this kid is also. I just don't know if jail time is going to do any good, considering this kid is already so guilt ridden and sorry over the whole event.If he shot the kids with the guns in his hands, I would say send him to jail.But a freak accident out of action of self preservation where there is no protection for the kids on the street from the gangs, one has to really think fairly about this kid.The fact that the gangs run the streets, and the innocent kids are at risk just walking back and forth to school, most adults aren't faced with that kind of threat on our lives on a daily basis, makes me wonder how I would react as a teen in that situation, my impending death daily being a reality.Would I have such fear that I would carry a gun? Would you?

Wait....the gun went off on its own? Yeah, right. And I've got ocean front property in Arizona.....

Assault with a deadly weapon, negligent discharge of a firearm, discharge of a firearm within city limits, minor with a firearm, carrying a concealed loaded firearm, committing a crime in a school zone, most likely possession of stolen property (the gun), and the list goes on and on. You can throw the book at this kid and he'll probably get 6 months probation and house arrest for another 6 months.
The fact is, the "troubled teen" brought a loaded gun to school with the possible intention of using it to hurt someone. Not only was the gun loaded, but also had a round in the chamber. The gun was described as a Beretta which means that the gun had to have a round in the chamber and the hammer in a "cocked and ready to rock" position because dropping that type of gun with the hammer down would require at the very least a 5 lb pull of the trigger to make it go off. Let's see...a pen in the backpack, made it into the opening of the trigger guard and put that much amount of pressure on the trigger and set it off when it fell off the kid's desk. Yeahhhhh, ok. Even with the hammer up and ready to go, dropping it wouldn't make the gun go off. The only "accident" that happened is when the kid put his finger on the trigger and pulled it.

If that was my kid that was shot, I would want the book thrown at the "accidental shooter" and have him tried as an adult. But....that won't happen.

How very sad, and tragic. I feel sorry for this kid. he obviously is not a crazy Columbine killer. He has shown remorse. how sad for him, and his parents. My prayers to the family of the young lady. And for her as well. So damn sad.

The school should have checked for guns this teen was a special education student why was he being buliied ? why don't adults take bullying seriously he has already told an adult there he was angry and why didn't she help him.I can't believe this could have been prevented and now this teen is going to be charged ,I hope these two teens that got shot pull through and that school learns to help it's students that are being bullied.

It is truly a sad day when we have to start scanning our kids going to school for weapons. What happened to all the parents responsibility? God help us all, oh that's right they wanted god taken out of all the schools. I imagine he left.

My prayers have been constant for all involved. I hope all parents, friends, and
family get involved with our youth. It is not easy today being a youth.

Please get actively involved in the schools. Go regularly to help and not just
when something like this happen. Perhaps, if this youth had someone on campus
he felt comfortable talking to this may not have happen.

I personally believe it takes a village to raise a child. I personally did it for my children. Please!!! Please!! Help our youth.!!

Village we need you now!!!

Yeah, check every student for a possible hand gun, or knife, but never address the overlying problem of bullying. Public schools are very reluctant to pursue bullys. Anyone who wants their kids to be educated should look into homeschooling. I wouldn't send my kids to that rat-hole of a school if I had to.

Why no mention that the school district has expelled this student? That is the policy in our schools, bring a weapon to school, immediately you are expelled.

It doesn't matter if he brought it for protection or not, he harmed two innocent people and could have cost them their lives by his inability to think clearly!

I went to John Marshall H.S. and we also had a shooting at our school, a guy brought a gun to school. He shot a couple of people, I could have been one of those people. These screenings need to happen "EVERY MORNING" It might take an hour or so but that's better than loosing lives in the hands of "The Unified School District" All backpacks need to be checked for drugs, weapons, etc.. It's 2011 not 1951 Wake up School District or our future students will not make it for their 21st. birthday's. Update your policies. PLEASE!!!!

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