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School shooting near San Diego leaves 2 dead, 13 wounded

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Scenes from Santana High School in Santee, California, on Monday

SANTEE, California (CNN) -- A shooting rampage at a high school outside San Diego left two students dead, at least 13 wounded and a ninth-grader under arrest, authorities said Monday.

The shooting occurred about 9:20 a.m. (12:20 p.m. EST) at Santana High School in Santee, California, about 10 miles northeast of San Diego. One of the victims was found dead at the school, while a second, a 15-year-old boy, died at nearby Grossmont Hospital, spokeswoman Eileen Cornish said.

San Diego County Sheriff William Kolender said two or three adults were among the 13 wounded.

Authorities expect to try the suspect as an adult, San Diego County District Attorney Paul Pfingst told reporters. He said the boy would be arraigned later this week in Superior Court and the charges would include murder, assault and assault with a deadly weapon.

Student John Sharp said the student arrested in the shooting was smiling when he allegedly emerged from a restroom with a long-barreled gun.

"He was looking around, smiling, with his weapon. He fired two more shots and went back in," Sharp said.

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Santana High School student John Sharp gives his account of the shooting

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A female student gives her account of the shooting on Monday at Santana High School

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Sharp said he photographed the incident and another student videotaped the carnage -- material that has since been confiscated by authorities. He said authorities with guns drawn arrested the suspect in the bathroom.

The school has about 1,900 students and 80 faculty and staff. One of the wounded was a sheriff's deputy assigned to the school, Sheriff's Department spokesman Ron Reina said.

Andrew Kaforey, a 17-year-old Santana senior, said he ran into the bathroom with a security guard after hearing what sounded like a firecracker or a gunshot.

"He pointed the gun right at me, but he didn't shoot," Kaforey said. As he and the guard ran out, the gunman shot the guard in the back, Kaforey said.

Fellow students told CNN affiliate KGTV the youth arrested in the shooting was a ninth-grader who had threatened to shoot someone at the school before.

"We didn't think he would do it," student Josh Stevens said. KGTV said Stevens was questioned by authorities after giving that account to reporters.

Students were quickly evacuated to a parking lot across the street from the school, police said. A sheriff's tactical unit moved into the school to evacuate any students remaining inside, Lt. Glenn Revell said.

John Sharp
Emergency workers treat a wounded man near the front gate of Santana High School in Santee, California  

Sharp described the scene as "complete chaos. Everyone scrambled." Added student Alicia Zimmer, "Everybody was running. A whole lot of people were crying. Nobody knew what really happened."

She said there was a girl nearby with "blood all over her arm" and another with blood on her hand. Then all of a sudden, we heard more shots going off," she said. "It sounded more like a cap gun than anything. It was really scary. Everybody was running."

The school is providing counseling for students, parents and teachers at the nearby Sunrise Church.

Almost 1,900 students attend the school, where both staff and the study body were described as close-knit by the principal, Karen Degischer.

She said the school does not have metal detectors, but relies on campus security personnel.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said local law enforcement officials have asked them to assist with the investigation. And In Washington, President Bush offered his condolences "to the teachers and the children whose lives have been turned upside-down right now."

Bush called the shooting "a disgraceful act of cowardice," adding, "When America teaches our children right from wrong and teaches values that respect life in our country, we'll be better off."

But, he said, "First things are first. And our prayers go out to the families that lost a child today."



RELATED STORIES:
Detroit high school shooting injures 3
February 2, 2001
Student dies after shooting outside Baltimore high school
January 17, 2001
Student killed in Michigan elementary school shooting
February 29, 2000
Suspect in custody after school shooting in Oklahoma
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RELATED SITES:
Santana High School
San Diego County Sheriff's Department
TheSanDiegoChannel: KGTV
Children's Hospital San Diego: Pediatric Care Facility
Scripps Mercy Hospital
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

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