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Boy shot at Gardena High is on track team, excels in sports

January 18, 2011 |  4:03 pm

The 15-year-old boy who suffered a gunshot wound to the neck during the accidental shooting at Gardena High on Tuesday is on the school's track team and excels in sports, according to his former football coach.

"He's a very smart kid and very athletic," Clarence Tolton said. The boy played quarterback and running back on Tolton's South Bay Packer pee-wee football team from ages 9 through 14.

"I still check on him," Tolton said. "And he stops by my house to visit. He's a great young man."

Tolton said recently he had been trying to help the boy transfer to Narbonne High School in Harbor City, where Tolton knows the football coach. [Updated, 4:45 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly located Narbonne in Culver City.]

"He's not shy at all," he said. "He's a jokester."

Tolton found out about his former player's injuries from his daughter, who graduated from Gardena High several years ago.

Doctors said a single bullet went through the boy's neck before hitting a female student in the head. The boy's injuries were not life threatening. The girl remains in critical condition. Both are at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.


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-- Kate Linthicum