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Student gets 9 months in juvenile camp for shooting that wounded two classmates

April 11, 2011 |  4:13 pm

A 17-year-old student whose gun went off at Gardena High School, wounding two classmates, one of them seriously, will spend nine months in a juvenile camp after admitting to weapons-related charges, prosecutors said Monday.

The boy, who has not been identified, has been in custody since January and will be on probation until age 21, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Authorities alleged that the boy had taken a loaded 9-millimeter Beretta to school in his backpack. He later reached into the backpack to get something to eat, and the gun discharged a single round in a classroom, authorities said.

Sources familiar with the inquiry said the student reportedly stole the gun from his stepfather.

The bullet struck a 15-year-old boy in the neck before hitting a 15-year-old girl in the side of the head, officials said. The girl, who initially was in critical condition with a skull fracture and brain trauma, has been released from the hospital, as has the boy who was hit. 

The boy who brought the gun to school was charged with two felonies, including possessing a firearm in a school zone and discharging a firearm in a school zone. He was on probation for a misdemeanor battery charge at the time of the incident.

Two other students have been arrested in relation to the incident. Authorities believe that in the chaos afterward, the boy gave his backpack to a girl and that another boy provided him with a sweatshirt to change his appearance.

One of them also allegedly gave him money for bus fare to flee the area.

The incident occurred the same week that an L.A. Unified school police officer concocted a tale of being shot by an assailant, resulting in a police dragnet that closed seven square miles of the San Fernando Valley and stranded 9,000 students in their classrooms.

That officer, Jeffrey Stenroos, 30, has pleaded not guilty to four felony charges including perjury, filing a false insurance claim, preparing false evidence and filing a false police report in connection with the hoax.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Twitter: @anblanx