The date marked the shooter's 16th birthday
CBS News reports that a Japanese American student killed 2 in a school shooting in Santa Clarita.
On Thursday morning Nathaniel Berhow shot five of his fellow students at Saugus High School before turning the handgun on himself. Thursday marked Berhow’s sixteenth birthday.
Classes had begun when the shootings occurred so the campus was not full. Friday classes have been cancelled.
The two deceased victims were a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. A 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl and another 14-year-old boy were injured but are not in critical condition.
Sheriff’s Department Captain Kent Wegener said the weapon was a “45-caliber semiautomatic pistol, which had no more rounds in it, had no more bullets in it.”
Berhow’s mother is 55-year-old Mami Matsuura. Matsuura, a Japanese American born in California, works for Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association. She is currently being interviewed by the police.
Berhow also has a sister, Samantha Berhow, 21. Mark Berhow, Nathanial’s father, passed away from a heart attack on 5 December 2017.
According to the police, Berhow’s Insagram bio read, “Saugus have fun at school tomorrow.” The bio has since been change but the police are not sure who made the changes.
“I can confirm that that was posted on his account, and I can also confirm that it has been changed since this incident, which means there is somebody else that has access to this account, be it a hacker, or be it a friendly who has access to his password,” Wegener said.
A motive for the crime has not been established but the FBI said it did not believe that Berhow was motivated by an ideology or group.
“We didn’t know if the shooter had a clear view of us or not, we just sprinted and we just like prayed for our lives,” one student said. “I actually thought I was going to die.”
“My teacher quickly sprang to his feet, got up, locked the door,” said senior Mason Peters. “Turned off all the lights and then we got a bunch of desks and stuff — and then reinforced the doors and then we all just like stayed hidden.”
Sophomore Micah Turner, who witnessed the shooting first hand, said, “[Bershow] shot two people and I saw that happen. I just saw him fire one, two, three and then I knew, I was like I needed to get out of there.”
“It’s going to be hard to forget,” she added. “But I’m gonna have to live with that sight in my head.”