Calif. Students Hid Under Tables, Blocked Doors at First Sounds of Gunfire - NBC Chicago
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Calif. Students Hid Under Tables, Blocked Doors at First Sounds of Gunfire

Students in a math classroom barricaded the door with desks and armed themselves with scissors during a terrifying morning at Saugus High School

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    Calif. Students Hid Under Tables, Blocked Doors at First Sounds of Gunfire
    AFP via Getty Images
    Students line up after a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California on November 14, 2019.

    Under a table in the nurse's office. A stranger's home across the street from campus. The back of a math classroom with the lights off.

    Terrified students took cover and found shelter wherever they could when a classmate opened fire Thursday morning at their high school campus north of Los Angeles. The shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita left two victims dead and three other victims hospitalized.

    Student Sharon Orelana Cordova said she ducked under a table in a nurse's office until officers came to get her. Aerial video showed lines of students escorted from the building by deputies as the search continued for the shooter. 

    "When I got out I saw this person lying on the ground with blood all over," Sharon said. 

    Students Describe Terror of Saugus High School Shooting

    [NATL LA] Students Describe Terror of Saugus High School Shooting

    Students of Saugus High School describe the terror of the 16-second shooting rampage that left at least two students dead and several more injured. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.

    (Published Friday, Nov. 15, 2019)

    Freshman Rosie Rodriguez was heading to the library when she heard what sounded like balloons popping. She started running when she and other students realized the popping sounds were gunfire.

    Rosie, carrying a backpack full of books, ran across the street to a stranger's home, where a resident sheltered her and about 10 other students, she said.

    "I just heard a lot of kids crying," Rosie said. "We were scared."

    The students were at the home for about an hour as deputies searched the campus and a nearby neighborhood for the shooter, later identified as a 16-year-old student at the school. They texted families and friends, wondering whether everyone was ok.

    On a normal day, Rosie said Saugus High School felt safe.

    "We never really thought this would happen in our school," she said.

    Ellie Pearlman was in her first period math class when another student sprinted into the classroom.

    "He just said, 'Gunshots,'" Ellie said. "We all jumped up, ushered everybody in, hid in the back, lights off, barricaded with desks."

    Students huddled in the classroom, contacting parents and friends on phones.

    "It almost still hasn't hit," Ellie said. "It's your high school, and it's not hitting yet."

    Students and teachers used desks to block the door. Some armed themselves with scissors.

    "I just figured it was another threat," said student Ember Miller. "A lot of people got up and they were barricading the doors.

    Students Describe First Moments of School Shooting

    [NATL LA] Students Describe First Moments of School Shooting

    Saugus High School students describe how they learned there was a shooter on their campus. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.

    (Published Friday, Nov. 15, 2019)

    "I should not have to go to school and fear for my life."

    Classmate Jessica Nielson, was in a first period Humanities class.

    "I looked out the window and there were waves of kids running past," she said.

    School Shooting Survivor: ‘I Shouldn’t Fear for My Life’

    [NATL] School Shooting Survivor: ‘I Shouldn’t Fear for My Life’

    After surviving a deadly shooting Thursday morning at Saugus High School in California, student Ember Miller said she “should not have to go to school and fear for my life. I’m not a target."
    Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Ember Miller's name.

     

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019)

    She took cover in an area of the campus called the core, a central indoor area that can be accessed from classrooms. Students stayed in the area during the lockdown and shooter search.

    Sixteen-year-old Shauna Orandi was in her Spanish class, finishing some homework when she heard four gunshots. Initially, she figured they were from instruments in a band class.

    Then, a student burst into the room saying he'd seen the gunman, leaving the classmates in stunned into silence.

    School Shooting Incidents Since 2013

    Everytown.org defines the incidents mapped below as any time a firearm discharges a live round inside or into a school building or on or onto a school campus or grounds, as documented by the press and, when necessary, confirmed through further inquiries with law enforcement or school officials. Incidents in which guns were brought into schools but not discharged are not included.

    Source: Everytown.org, NBC Staff Reports
    Last updated on Nov. 14, 2019

    "My worst nightmare actually came true," she said later at a nearby park where she met her father. "This is it. I'm gonna die."

    Yellow crime scene tape surrounded an outdoor area at the center of campus where the gunman opened fire. The gunman shot himself in the head after shooting five other students, according to the sheriff's department.

    Aerial video showed students with hands raised being escorted by deputies from the school of about 2,300 students. They were taken to school buses with armed deputies on board.

    Parent Reacts to School Shooting in Santa Clarita

    [NATL] Parent Reacts to School Shooting in Santa Clarita

    Anxious parents gathered outside of Saugus High School, waiting to reunite with their kids after a gunman opened fire during the school day, killing at least one student.

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019)

    Parents desperate to see their children arrived at a park where families were reunited. Many were in tears, greeting students with a heartfelt embrace.

    "I don't want to be that overly loving mother, but I just reached out and grabbed him and started crying," one mother said. 

    Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Ember Miller's name.

    High School Shooting Survivor: Please Keep Your Guns Locked Up

    [NATL] High School Shooting Survivor: Please Keep Your Guns Locked Up

    A student waiting for his friend outside Saugus High School after a shooting there left one student dead and several others injured pleaded with gun owners to keep their firearms locked up. 

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019)