Student shot, wounded at High School in Palmdale; suspect in custody

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A shooting at Highland High School in Palmdale today left a student wounded and a former student in custody, authorities said.

The injured student, a 15-year-old boy, was driven to a hospital by a parent who was dropping her daughter off at school shortly after the 7 a.m. shooting at the campus in the 39000 block of 25th Street West.

3:00pm press conference from LA County Sheriff:

The 14-year-old male suspect was taken into custody at a Vons grocery store about a mile from the campus. There were no reports of any other injuries.

A Highland High School student told KNX Newsradio that he saw the teen suspect emerge from a bathroom with a rifle-type weapon, which he randomly pointed at people. The student said the suspect looked at him and told him to run, which he did, shouting at other students to do the same.

A parent told the station his wife was dropping their daughter off at the school when the wounded student ran up to her car, shouting ``He shot me! He shot me! I don't know why he shot me!'' The woman told the boy to get into her car and she drove him to a nearby hospital, the parent told KNX, adding that his wife was interviewed by sheriff's deputies and was told the ``little boy is going to be fine,'' but he ``didn't know who shot him.''

The shooting was initially reported as an active shooter, prompting a massive response from law enforcement, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. About 30 minutes after the high school shooting was reported, the
sheriff's department also responded to a call of gunshots being heard at the nearby campus of Manzanita Elementary School in the 38600 block of 33rd Street East, but those reports turned out to be unfounded.

Sheriff's officials said they recovered a rifle that was believed to be the one used in the shooting. Capt. Darren Harris said deputies believe the suspect was acting alone, but the investigation was continuing.

There was no immediate word on a motive for the shooting.

All schools in the area were placed on lockdown while law enforcement swarmed the high school campus, and nervous parents began gathering nearby, anxiously hoping to retrieve their children.

The lockdown at Highland High School was lifted around 10:20 a.m., and students were being released to parents on Avenue P-12 south of the campus. School officials warned parents that deputies would be releasing students systematically, and ``this may take a while, so your patience is appreciated.''

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