WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- While police didn’t identify the Santa Clarita high school shooter, law enforcement sources told CBS News the suspect has been identified as 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow.
- The half-Japanese student, who chose his own birthday to do the shooting, was described by a classmate as a “quiet kid.”
- A next-door neighbor who grew up with him said he kept to himself but didn’t “expect anything like that from him.”
Authorities on Thursday said the Santa Clarita shooting suspect chose his 16th birthday to open fire inside a Southern California high school, killing two students and injuring at least three others.
CBS identified the teen as Nathaniel Berhow, who allegedly stormed into Saugus High School in Santa Clarita just before classes began Thursday. He used a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol which he turned on himself, police said.
Berhow shot himself to the head after he shot his classmates. He is now at an area hospital in “grave condition,” which means he is critical and clinging to life, authorities said.
The shooting suspect, who was described by police as Asian, was half-Japanese. His family lives in Valencia, California, about two miles from Saugus.
One classmate described Berhow to the Los Angeles Times as a “quiet kid.”
“I would have never expected anything like this,” Brooke Hougo, 18, told the newspaper. “He was just a quiet kid.”
A photo of the baby-faced and shy-looking Berhow emerged fitting Hougo’s description.
While a sophomore at Saugus, Berhow ran track and field for the school and competed in the 800-meter and 1600-meter races, according to stats on Athletic.net.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office told The Post that his father, Mark Berhow, passed away in December 2017 from a heart attack, but a “history of chronic alcoholism” contributed to his death.
In 2015, the father had been arrested during a domestic dispute with the teen’s mother.
Berhow’s mom sued his dad in 2016 for custody of their children, according to records on Trellis.
Ryan McCracken, a 20-year-old next-door neighbor described the suspect as “a quiet, to-himself kid.”
When McCracken was younger, he said they played together, sometimes in Berhow’s backyard treehouse. “You wouldn’t expect anything like that from him.”
Source: New York Post