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Anxious Gardena High parents await word from their children

January 18, 2011 | 12:50 pm

Parents waited anxiously Tuesday morning at a police parameter set up at 182nd Street and Vermont Avenue about three blocks from the Gardena High School campus for word on their children who attend the school where two students were shot.

Cathleen Orranthia, whose 14-year-old daughter, Alex Orranthia, attends the school, was at her job as a saleswoman for an apparel company near the school when she heard about the shooting.

“My work is five minutes from here and they said, 'Go, go!' ” said Orranthia, who graduated from Gardena High in 1975. “Progressively, it’s gone downhill. Apparently, they don’t check people who walk into the school. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 25, they let you in.”

Alexandra Torres, who has a 15-year-old son at the school, said she had taken time off from her work Tuesday as a real estate loan processor to go to a doctor’s appointment when she received a text from her son about the shooting.

“I got chills,” Torres said. “He’s OK, though.”

Parent Thomas Hill has an 18-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter who attend the school. Hill, a plumber, was at home when he received a text from his son that something was wrong.

“He didn’t know what was going on,” Hill said. “This is the first time I heard of a shooting at the school.”


Photos: Gardena High School shooting

Gardena High School was scene of 2002 shooting

Suspect in Gardena High School shooting surrenders; students in classroom safe

-- Sam Quinones in Gardena