Campus aide who found gun at Gardena High describes aftermath of shooting
A campus aide said she found the gun that went off in a Gardena High School classroom, injuring two students, after students running from the classroom pointed her to where the gun was laying in the hallway.
Hoda Makkar, who has worked at the school for about one and a half years, described it as black, about a foot long and "not small." Police said the weapon is a 9mm Beretta semiautomatic handgun.
Immediately after the shooting, Makkar said students ran from the classroom. They told her the suspect had pulled the gun out of the backpack after it discharged, ran out of the class and threw it in the hallway nearby.
All aides and administrators were told by radio to head to that classroom to help out after the shooting.
"Kids were running out, kids were crying," she said. " Some came running up to me and said you have to get the gun, you have to get the gun! I went to the classroom and asked, 'Where is it?' They pointed it out in the hallway."
Makkar said she knows the boy who police said brought the gun to campus and would talk to him frequently.
"He was one of those who came to school angry," she said. "He walked around a lot with his fists up all the time." Makkar said he never got in fights but would just run his mouth a lot. His parents came in fairly often to speak to the counselors. His mother, who Makkar described as "really caring," came in once a week to talk to his counselor, check up on him, or bring him lunch.
Several friends of the boy said he brought the gun for protection and that he was a nice kid who would not intentionally hurt anyone.
"I thought he was doing better," Makkar said, shaking her head. "That's why I was shocked. Bringing a gun to school? That is so dumb."
-- Shan Li at Gardena High School
Photo: At left, student Breana Hill, 15, and her mother Lichelle, center, reconnect outside the police line after the shooting at Gardena High School Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times