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The scene outside Sal Castro Middle School after Thursday's shooting, now deemed to have been an accident
The scene outside Sal Castro Middle School after Thursday's shooting, now deemed to have been an accident
Xinhua/SIPA USA/Newscom

Shooting at Los Angeles Middle School an Accident, Police Say

The shooting at Sal Castro Middle School that left five people injured on Thursday morning was “accidental,” Los Angeles police officials said.

The LAPD took a 12-year-old girl into custody but determined that the incident was an accident after questioning her, officials said in a statement Friday.

Jordan Valenzuela, a student at Sal Castro, told the Associated Press that he was in class when he heard a loud bang and then screaming. He told AP that the 12-year-old girl, his classmate, told him it was an accident, saying, “I didn’t mean to. I had the gun in my backpack and I didn’t know it was loaded and my backpack fell and the gun went off.”’

On Thursday evening, the girl was booked into Juvenile Hall on suspicion of negligently discharging a firearm,” AP reported.

On Friday morning, LAPD officials addressed parents at the school. They tweeted, “Our Los Angeles Officials from @LASchoolPolice @LASchools @LAPDRampart are addressing parents of yesterday’s incident and ensuring our priority is the safety of their children here at Sal Castro Middle/Belmont High. We advise everyone: If you see or hear something, say something.”

In the tweet, police did not address the questions many parents and others have: how a 12-year-old girl was able to get her hands on a gun in the first place, and how she was able to get it out of her house and into her school.

"As a parent, this is everyone's worst-case nightmare — a worst-case scenario and a nightmare for all of us," Robert Arcos, commanding officer of the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations-Central Bureau, told reporters Thursday.

With students returning to class on Friday, the incident will, and should, raise more questions about gun control in California, and the country.

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