(CNN) — A 15-year-old girl is one of two students who died earlier this week after a shooting at a Southern California high school.
Gracie Anne Muehlberger’s death and that of Dominic Blackwell, a 14-year-old boy have affected many in this community.
Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, a 16-year-old student pulled a gun from his backpack and opened fire 7:30 a.m. on Thursday at Saugus High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita.
At the time, students were “milling around” and greeting each other in an outdoor quad area, sheriff’s homicide Capt. Kent Wegener said. Surveillance video showed the shooter standing still while “everyone is active around him.”
After more than 40 interviews and a search of his home, authorities still were struggling to discover what prompted the deadly attack, Capt. Kent Wegener of the Sheriff’s Department’s homicide unit said at a press conference.
Berhow had shown no signs of violence and didn’t appear to be linked to any ideology or terrorist group, authorities said.
“We did not find any manifesto, any diary that spelled it out, any suicide note or any writings,” he said.
Many in the community said they are still are in pain and disbelief.
Bryan and Cindy Muehlberger said they shared the news of their daughter’s death with “unexplainable brokenness.” They described her as their “Cinderella, the daughter we always dreamed to have,” and said her two brothers were heartbroken.
“She will never get to drive a car, fall in love, build a career, get married, have children and do all the other things everyone takes for granted in this short thing called life,” they said in a statement.
“We miss her smile, laughter, sweet kisses, and her amazing sense of humor,” the parents said.
Dominic Blackwell was a member of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
“I’ve known him since I was five,” student Joshua Mourthi told KABC-TV. “So, he used to be my neighbor. He could make anyone smile. You could be having the worst day and he’d walk up and say, ‘Hey, how’s your day going?’ and you’d immediately start smiling.”
Two girls, ages 14 and 15, were shot in the torso and should be released from the hospital over the weekend, doctors said Friday. A 14-year-old boy was treated and released.
“We never thought it would happen here, but you’re not immune to it,” said Erika Bird, a parent.
Teachers helped get students to safety after the shooting..
Many are being called heroes.
But some said they’re angry they were put in that kind of position.
We didn’t sign on to protect kids from bullets, to protect them from harm, to bury them. That puts us in a role that we should never have to do,” said Christine Hirst, a teacher:
Hirst said there needs to be changes on a national level or tragedies like this will keep happening.
Hirst said: “15-year-olds should not have access to guns. There’s no reason silencers should be on the market. Ak15s are weapons of war and murder. They should not be publicly accessible.”
Yvette Mojica, who had classes with the gunman, said she never noticed any issues with him.
But she said schools also need to do more to identify students who might be going through things and need help with their mental health e
“Yes, it’s about weapons and gun control but also about (the) mental state that teenagers are in in this time period,” Mojica said.