Saugus High shooting: ‘Stoic’ survivors recovering

Holy Cross Dr. Evan Valle, left, and Dr. Boris Borazjani offer an update Friday morning on the wounded victims of the Saugus High School shooting. Tammy Murga/ The Signal

Three teenage victims of a deadly shooting at Saugus High School Thursday morning were recovering Friday, hospital officials said. 

The shooting left 16-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger, and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell dead, and four other teenagers wounded, including the attacker. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials identified the shooter only as a 16-year-old boy and acknowledged the fourth student brought to Henry Mayo Newhall was the suspect. On Friday morning, the hospital still had one patient in critical condition, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody. 

Of the three others shot, a 14-year-old boy was released from the hospital Thursday. Providence Holy Cross officials said Friday that the 15-year-old and 14-year-old girls are expected to return home by Saturday. 

The two girls, who know each other and have been interacting, were described as “stoic” and “composed,” handling the situation “exceptionally well,” Dr. Evan Valle said during a news conference Friday morning at Holy Cross. 

Doctors said the 15-year-old was shot twice — in her hip and above her bladder; while the 14-year-old suffered wounds to her shoulder and abdomen. 

“These are young adults, but to be shot in the abdomen and be shot in the back, I mean, that’s pretty extreme,” said trauma surgeon Boris Borazjani. “They’re in good spirits, but no matter how you look at it, it’s going to be difficult.” 

When is it a good time for parents to talk to their children about the incident and what happened to the other victims? Borazani said it comes down to families. 

“It’s a hard discussion to have, but once you have it, there’s a grieving process, whether you like it not,” he added. “We have to have an outside support system.”

Families of both girls issued statements Friday: 

“Our family is grateful that our daughter is safe and on her way to a speedy recovery. However, it is with great sadness that we together mourn the beloved friends that she lost. Our hearts are with them and their families above all else right now.”

“On behalf of our family, I want to thank the Santa Clarita community for their heartfelt thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.  Our community lost two young people yesterday, and our hearts are broken over this tremendous loss.

“Right now, our family is in prayer for our daughter, who is currently being treated for injuries she sustained during Thursday’s shooting at Saugus High School.”

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