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Shooting at L.A. vocational school occurred during security guard class, police say [Updated]

February 23, 2011 |  4:51 pm

A shooting that left a teacher dead in downtown Los Angeles occurred in a class teaching vocational students how to become security guards.

Los Angeles Police Department officials took a student at the vocational school into custody in connection with the shooting and recovered a weapon.

The shooting occurred at the Coast Career Institute in the 1300 block of South Hill Street. It was reported about 4 p.m.

The motive of the shooting was unclear, but officials believe the suspect was a student of the instructor and was taking the security guard class.

[Updated at 5:45 p.m.: Following the shooting, half a dozen students and one of the instructors stood outside the school building, which was cordoned off with yellow police tape.

Student David Bardol, 24, said he was driving by the campus when “I saw people ducking out and running in every direction.”

He said he did not know the suspected gunman or what had prompted the shooting.

Another man standing nearby who did not want to be identified described the victim as “one of the nicest guys ever. It was just a random act.”]

-- Andrew Blankstein and Ann M. Simmons