SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — At 7:38 a.m. Thursday the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department received a call about an active shooter at Saugus High School.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a press conference Thursday morning that the suspect has been identified as a 16-year-old male who is a student at the school and Thursday is his birthday.
Witnesses and video surveillance identified the suspect.
At some time shortly before the shooting, the gunman posted on his Instagram account “Saugus have fun at school tomorrow,” Capt. Ken Wegener said.
The post was later changed at some point after the shooting, he said. That means someone – possibly a friend of the shooter or a hacker – also has access to the account. Wegener said officials are looking at the Instagram account as part of their investigation.
“Being in his class he was like very quiet and antisocial like he was just quiet in class he didn’t really try to connect with people,” said Tristan Scott, a classmate of the suspect.
Neighbors near the suspect’s home say that the young man was from a very troubled home and that his father had died one or two years ago. They also said that the father had guns in the house and he did load and make his own bullets. These guns were seized by law-enforcement at some point before Thursday’s incident, but not all of them because he still had a .45-caliber handgun that was used in this shooting.
A search warrant was served at the suspect’s Santa Clarita home Thursday afternoon and several firearms were seen being confiscated. The suspect’s phone was also found in the home.
Authorities said the suspect shot five fellow students, two fatally, at Saugus High School before turning the gun on his own head.
Officials said video shows the shooter pull out a gun in the quad and shoot the victims with the gun, with no more bullets left.
Capt. Ken Wegener said during the press conference that his girlfriend and mother were at the local police station for questioning.