Teen shot in arm at Highland High School in Palmdale, California; suspect in custody
PALMDALE, Calif. — A 14-year-old student has been taken into custody after he shot another student in the arm with a rifle at Highland High School in Palmdale Friday morning, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
KTLA reported that deputies were sent to the school located in the 39000 block of West 25th Street after receiving a report of an “active shooter” at about 7 a.m., Capt. Darren Harris said.
Authorities responded within five minutes and later learned that a 14-year-old student with a rifle had fired and struck another student, also 14, in the arm, Harris said.
The victim was taken to a local hospital in good condition and is expected to make a full recovery, Harris said.
The shooter fled the campus with the gun but was taken into custody some distance away, Harris said. CNN reported the teen was apprehended near a Vons grocery store.
Neither teen has been identified. The rifle was later recovered in a “desert area,” Harris said.
The school was “cleared by deputies,” the Sheriff’s Department said about 9 a.m. A lockdown that had students sheltering in place was lifted by 10:30 a.m., and students were being released to parents, the school’s principal said on Twitter.
“Parents can rest assured there is no threat to any campus here in the Antelope Valley,” Harris said. “We have a heavy presence here, and we have a suspect in custody. We feel very confident that our schools our safe.”
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials also responded to the shooting, the agency tweeted.
Amid a climate of heightened scrutiny for gun violence and school safety in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Palmdale shooting immediately sparked a frenzy on social media and in the national news media. The term “active shooter” was a focus in much of the reaction, though authorities initially told KTLA they were not describing the situation that way.
Superintendent Raul Maldonado wrote in an alert on the website for Palmdale School District that there was a “confirmed … active shooter” at Highland High. Palmdale School District runs elementary and middle schools in Palmdale, but Highland High School is part of the Antelope Valley Union High School District, which operates several high schools in the broader area.
All of Palmdale School District’s campuses were on lockdown “until the situation is confirmed as safe for our students, teachers staff and parents,” Maldonado said. The campuses were searched and no incidents of concern were reported, the superintendent later said.
A concerned parent waiting for her son near Highland High said she got a text from him saying he heard a gunshot and that he had locked himself in a classroom. She was waiting to learn when her son would be released.
“It’s scary, I don’t know what to feel,” Ana Salazar told KTLA. “It’s something I never expected to happen.”
Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Department searched the campus of Manzanita Elementary School in Palmdale, about 6 miles east of Highland High, after a report of “shots heard.”
“Deputies have searched the campus. School is clear. So far, no evidence of crime,” the Sheriff’s Department tweeted of Manzanita Elementary.