A 14-year-old boy was taken into custody following a shooting at Highland High School in Palmdale Friday morning. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department began receiving multiple 911 calls shortly after 7 a.m., Capt. Darren Harris confirmed at a press conference near Palmdale mall.
Harris said deputies responded with rapid response teams and deployed immediately. Santa Clarita Valley, Lancaster and Palmdale Sheriff’s Station units joined the California Highway Patrol as the scene as the incident unfolded.
Within minutes, deputies determined there was a male suspect on campus that had fired a rifle, Harris said. A 14-year-old student struck in the arm during the gunfire was transported to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, the captain confirmed.
“We train and we prepare for the worst and we hope for the best,” Harris said. “We hope we never have to use it, but we are always ready to deploy rapidly and protect our students.”
Harris attributed training to what brought the incident to a rapid ending.
“It looks like it worked as it should today. That may be why we were able to put an end to it so quickly,” Harris said.
An interview with school security guard Sandy Pettway demonstrated some of the frustration felt by those working to keep schools safe in an era when school shootings are becoming more common.
“Well, I have kids that went to school, so yeah, I was saddened,” said Sandy Pattwy, describing his reaction to the scene as deputies worked to secure two Antelope Valley campuses, “because I was almost in tears this morning, and I was running for my life, and I wasn’t even being shot at.”
Pettway said his child graduated high school last year, but the incident was a reminder that the danger seems to be capable of appearing anywhere.
The discussion of arming security guards at the campus was brought up, and Pettway said he wasn’t looking to politicize things, and that the policy was up to the district. He said he just was hopeful for a solution to stop the problem.
“I don’t know what to say about gun control and all that, but I hope something can be done about this,” Pettway said, referring to the shooting. “Nothing’s stopping it, it’s still going on, so I don’t know — I’m at a loss for words right now.”
This is a breaking news story. Details will be added and updated as information is received and vetted for accuracy.
Updated at 12:34 p.m.: Interview with a school security guard added.