City Council: ‘Thank you, community’ for support after Saugus High shooting

Residents stand around the memorial set up at the Central Park flag pole at the Saugus Strong Vigil in 2019. Signal file photo.

Amid agenda paperwork, a gavel and governmental routine, the Santa Clarita City Council dedicated a moment of silence Tuesday evening for all those affected by the Saugus High School shooting. 

“Nov. 14 was a very tragic day here in the Santa Clarita area that will permanently change the landscape for three families and significantly alter the landscape for three others,” said Mayor Marsha McLean, quoting Gene Hall, the grandfather of Dominic Michael Blackwell, one of three students who died at Saugus High two weeks ago. 

On that day, a shooting on campus resulted in three wounded and the death of three other teenagers, including the attacker, who was a 16-year-old student. 

Council members took a moment to express their condolences to those suffering losses and their support for the community, including law enforcement and first responders, for their swift mobilization in bringing students to safety and healing following the Nov. 14 shooting. 

“Thank you, community,” said Councilwoman Laurene Weste. “It has been a remarkable short period of time here that we have learned how much we need each other and how important that reliance is.”

Council members Bob Kellar and Cameron Smyth thanked Los Angeles County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger and city staff for their response in placing Saugus High first above their own families. 

It was “all-hands-on-deck,” said Smyth, adding that “staff (who) put their own lives on hold to do their job for the community is something that should be recognized and it’s deeply appreciated because we know that you’re a part of this community, whether you have students or not.”  

Saugus High students received a special appreciation for how they handled evacuations after the shooting, as well as other William S. Hart Union High School District students for supporting their peers.  

“So many national commentators commented at the discipline and organization of the evacuation and it was absolutely outstanding and I want to thank those students and anyone who had anything to do with that,” said Councilman Bill Miranda.

Following a Valencia High school student’s comment asking the City Council for an increase in mental health experts on school campuses, City Manager Ken Striplin encouraged the teenager and others to voice their ideas at school board meetings. 

McLean suggested that the City Council meet with the Hart District in coordinating joint efforts. 

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