PALMDALE – A 14-year-old former student was charged Tuesday with attempted murder and other counts stemming from a shooting at Highland High School in Palmdale that left a 15-year-old boy wounded last week.
The teenage defendant — who denied the charges — faces two counts of attempted murder, six counts of assault with an assault weapon and one count of possessing a firearm in a school zone, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He is due back in a juvenile courtroom in Lancaster on June 28.
The shooting at 7 a.m. Friday, May 11, on the campus in the 39000 block of 25th Street West was initially attributed to an active shooter, prompting a massive law-enforcement response. About 30 minutes after the high school shooting was reported, the sheriff’s department responded to what turned out to be unfounded call of gunshots being heard at the nearby Manzanita Elementary School campus in the 38600 block of 33rd Street East.
The injured 15-year-old boy, who was driven to a hospital by a parent who was dropping her daughter off at school, suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder area, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Jim McDonnell said. There were no reports of any other injuries.
The suspect was taken into custody at a Vons grocery store about a mile from the campus.
McDonnell said the sheriff’s department was contacted by an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer who initially apprehended the suspect after being contacted by the boy’s father about 7:40 a.m.
A Highland High School student told reporters he saw the suspect emerge from a bathroom with a rifle-type weapon, which he randomly pointed at people. The student said the suspect looked at him and told him to run, which he did, shouting at other students to do the same.
McDonnell identified the weapon as an SKS with 7.62 rounds. The rifle was recovered from a field between the school and where the boy was apprehended.
A man said his wife was dropping their daughter off at the school when the wounded student ran up to her car, shouting “He shot me! He shot me! I don’t know why he shot me!” The woman told the boy to get into her car and she drove him to a nearby hospital, her husband said, adding that his wife was told the boy “didn’t know who shot him.”
The suspect fired about 10 rounds and told his father that he had fired into the air, McDonnell said, but a motive was unclear.
All schools in the area were placed on lockdown while law enforcement swarmed the high school campus, and nervous parents began gathering nearby, anxiously hoping to retrieve their children.
The lockdown at Highland High School was lifted around 10:20 a.m. Friday, May 11, and students were released to their parents.
McDonnell said the sheriff’s Palmdale Station fielded nearly 100 calls in the minutes after the shooting.
The suspect used to attend Highland High School, but his family transferred him to another school, officials said.
Previous related stories:
Support personnel to greet Palmdale students returning to shooting site
Student shot, wounded at Highland High School; suspect in custody
46 comments for "14-year-old boy charged in shooting at Highland High School"
Reverand Bart says
First order of business for the Obama administration, circa 2009, pressuring inner-city schools to look the other way on juvenile delinquency. Eight long years cooking the books on adolescent crime statistics, suppressing discipline in our public schools, handing out door prizes to juveniles who should otherwise be in jail? Fast forward to the here and now, Obama’s chickens coming home to roost, you’re having a little problem with Gen-Y and Gen-Z adolescents, acting out like spoiled six-years olds, throwing tantrums when they don’t get every little thing they want. Mollycoddled, lack for discipline, these young people can’t handle the advanced citizenship prerequisite to a first and second amendment privilege. Want to solve the problem? Then, suck it up, reimpose school discipline. Harsh discipline. Very harsh discipline. Time to start wrapping knuckles.
Time to face facts, Gen-X, Millennials and Gen-Z are lousy Americans unworthy of their constitutional privileges. They can’t muster responsibility sufficient to merit their 1st amendment privilege, much less our Founding Father’s 2nd amendment privilege. They cannot handle being American citizens.
….what? Are you serious? Maybe your generation did a lousy job raising them then lol. Maybe there are more guns in circulation than when you were in high school. What it seems like to me is that you can not handle change. And just remember, you are no more American than any other citizen just because you are older.
So it has nothing to do with their parents and how they raised/interacted with them?
… our youth are woefully undisciplined. Mollycoddled, they’re stupid. 8 years of Barack Obama, handing out lollypops to juvenile delinquents, failed. Miserably. It is high time we reimpose discipline, and restore classroom sovereignty, back to the teacher. Your kid steps one micron out-of-line, just once, its off to the vice principal he goes, to get his rear end didactically tanned.
Censorship on commenting here at the AV Times is worse than North Korea. These people only want certain commenting, from a certain point-of-view –
Google user says
Send him to jail till he’s 25.
Tim Scott says
Make him angry and unemployable, and teach him some basic criminal skills. Even from you Ron this seems like a surprisingly stupid idea.
… Barack Obama stalwarts like “Tim Scott” believe society should give him lollypop –
So liberals like you let them out over and over even when they been arrested 30 times. BRING BACK 3 STRIKES,!!
@Ron…You really don’t understand, do you? I would lay some facts for you to try to help you understand, but your mind is closed. At this point anyway.
These kids need to learn. We can’t give them a slap on the wrist. Put him in jail for 11 years and let them do hard time. Let them know if they do this they go away for a long time.
Tim Scott says
Send them to gladiator school and unleash them on society at the peak of their prowess. I would think that even you could come up with a better idea than that Ron.
He’s not listening. He, and too many others think that sending all these youngsters to prison for years (pick a number), and releasing them is all it takes to solve the problem. Most of them only come out much harder, and will exact their rage on society in a more proficient manner.
WHos the bully? The one with the gun?? Or the victim being shot??
Sandra Baugus says
Maybe one day a bully will stop and think I could be taking my own life into my hands by bullying this guy. I might make him so mad he will come to school and shoot me for what I have done and said….
Sandra Baugus says
David Davis. are you kidding. I bet this kid gets the death penalty.
Such kind words about this so-call (kid) if he was black I only imagine what would be said.
If this child wanted to kill someone, he very easily could’ve! He didn’t! I think he did this act out of desperation. He just wanted to be heard and acknowledged. He’s obviously that angry about something, to resort to this type of behavior.
So, the boy’s father contacted an off-duty police officer, who in turn called the sheriff’s department. What relationship does the father have with the off-duty police officer?
It’s a bit odd. I suspect the dad and the off duty officer delayed notifying 911. Something stinks and we’ll never know.
The problem is the Lancaster Sheriff Service is so bad, you have to take the law into your own hands. If they would have called 911 the cops would of taken hours to get there. Its better to call your buddy who is a cop.
I waited 9 hours five weeks ago when I reported a child with a gun that was brandishing at another kid while they stole my UPS box . The cops did not care and the kid probably took the gun to school the next day because I keep seeing him daily.
I even gave the cops the kids address, pictures and video of the crime. The LA County Sheriff does not care about our community. I had to go to the kids house and get my property back. I risk my own life but I got my shit back.
The next week the same kid stole my Fed Ex box again and they graffiti the mail box.
Google user says
Wow that’s really sad! You really do gotta wonder what’s going on. I personally believe anyone in this situation who brings pulls a gun with intent to kill or harrass at a school should get automatic death penalty. They know exactly what they were doing before they did it.
Remember when kids weren’t such pansies and would take care of a bully when they had enough. Now parents bubble wrap kids and don’t equip them with the tools needed to handle life. The blame for this falls on many, not just the kid and not just his parents. Stop raising sissies and teach boys to be men. Teach them how to handle life!
David Davis says
The attempted murder charges won’t succeed because there is no “mens rea” or willfulness to kill. The act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty.
He was shooting in the air and he told others to run without shooting them. He will be convicted of discharging a fire arm and causing injury.
@David Davis…What a load of cow pie!
Sandra Baugus says
Thats a load of crap. I suppose he brought the gun to school for show and tell. What planet are you from. This kid will probably get the death penalty. They will try him as an adult and give him the shaft.
NO BULLYING says
The fact that this kid who was being bullied and this was brought up to the school on several occasions and the school failed to do something about it is the reason why the shooter had to take matters into his own hands, there are multiple scenarios of how this situation could of ended…but he clearly did not want to end any bodies life or take his all because of the serious problem that is all over our schools “BULLYING” it’s time for our school’s board of directors to seriously eliminate this problem.
Well, by all means, let us take matters into our own hands and shoot everyone that mistreats us. There will always be bullies, and there will always be those that are bullies. It is the parents of these children to teach children coping skills. Where did this 14 year old get this weapon? Did he get it at home? If he did, how was he able to take it from his parents home? Wherever he got this weapon, it was readily available to him, and an immature 14 year old with a gun doesn’t think like a responsible adult. Although there are plenty of so called responsible adults that just have to have their toys that kill, and they use them too. Of course he wanted to take a life! Do you actually think he just meant to wound him? It’s called attempted murder.
I cant believe that you justify this kids behaviors by blaming bullying. Before you make asinine equivications you should at least know a little. He was a former student, which means he was expelled or had transferred to another school thus removing any immediate threat to himself by said bullies. It might be more fruitful to ask if the child had been expelled and if so for what? And going a step further, how was a non student allowed on campus. From where I sit whoever owned the gun has some explaining to do as well as the school for having laxed security.
Article states his parents transferred him to another school.
Former student says
Bullying? You may be extrapolating that one. While I agreed bullying is rampant, it is no worse than it was when I went to school (and had my share of unfair comments and shoves). Incessantly picking on someone will make them eventually snap, we’ve all seen that. But where does this article ever state that the suspect was ever a victim of bullying? I must’ve missed that in all the reports I’ve read so far.
I heard from a school district employee it was absolutely bullying. Their words not mine. How they knew I have no idea.
Beth Evans says
I have it on VERY good authority that the shooter was being bullied by the other student that was shot.
Oh ;well that makes everything better than. Let’s drop those charges than Beth Evans.
Bullied children have the right to shoot apparently. Mental illness is more like it, this kid did something 99% of children do not do when bullied.Parents should be charged, he should have never had access to this gun.
Completely AGREE. The parents most definitely should be held accountable.
There’s a irresponsible vice principal involved too
Bearded prickly bum says
Your ignorant. Please try and get a medical degree before posting again. You were probably a bully yourself taking pleasure in verbally ruining another’s self esteem taunting, teasing, harassing, name calling…. the victim is not mentally ill the bully is mentally ill. The victim probably could not handle the abuse anymore… schools do nothing to bullies they abuse the victim instead. I’ve seen it
Shame on you your names probably Vicki a teacher who bullies in AV
Just some thoughts –
What if the gun had been in a safe and the youngster stole the keys to that safe from the parents?
What if the gun was not the property of the parents but another person?
Bullied kids do need better mental tools to handle being bullied (experienced in this).
Not all bullied kids really are, some just feel bullied.
Unless you have facts it is not wise to assume knowledge…
Wait for facts or word things appropriately to the facts at hand.
Typo ” adding that his wife was told the boy”
Where did he get the rifle? says
I wonder where he got the rifle from? Hopefully an adult will be charged in this crime too. Thank you to all LEO’S for a rapid, organized thorough response. And thank you to school admins, teachers, aids and volunteers who helped streamline the controlled chaos of picking up our children… for keeping them safe and for keeping them calm.
Thank you school admins, teachers, aids and volunteers? Are these not the same people that allowed the bullying? I say F_ them. They failed.
Parent of bullied child says
I have to agree. These school staff are afraid to enforce rules against bullying. My kids go to a different high school and we’re bullied. Repeatedly I complained to the school and nothing ever was resolved. There needs to be consequences that are very enforced period! ! ! No matter what the bully should be held partially responsible as well as the school staff that sat back and let it continue to happen. If there has been prior reports on bullying that is repeat complaints, then the staff should be sitting in jail too. As far as a bully to come in with a gun. That should be automatic death penalty. They should be held accountable for however many students checked in that day. We need harsher consequences that are enforced period. Get some real men and women in there to run the school and send these pansies home.
WHERE DID HE GET THE RIFLE says
Roberto… no they aren’t the same ones. By your logic, every person who is employed or volunteers at a school is guilty. Well I say F you! I have volunteered at 4 schools here in the AV, and not once saw bully behavior not be dealt with immediately. AND, had you read and comprehended my comment, I was thanking them for the streamlining the controlled chaos of picking up our children. READING…IT’S GOOD FOR YOU