Saugus High School shooting: 15-year-old girl, 14-year-old boy ID’d as students killed


Students embrace during a vigil at Central Park in the aftermath of a shooting at Saugus High School Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials say a 16-year-old student shot five classmates and then himself in a quad area of Saugus High School Thursday morning. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The two students killed in a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita were identified Friday by coroner’s officials as a 15-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy.

The victims were identified by authorities the same day the 16-year-old suspected shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Gracie Anne Muehlberger died after being rushed to Henry Mayo Hospital following Thursday morning’s shooting. The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner released her name and age Friday. She turned 15 years old last month.

Coroner’s officials later identified Dominic Blackwell as the other victim fatally shot. The 14-year-old was initially identified to KTLA by a relative of a student who witnessed the shooting. The witness was good friends with Blackwell, and learned of his death Thursday night.

Three other students were wounded and transported to area hospitals. One of them, a 14-year-old boy, was released Thursday while two girls — ages 14 and 15 — remained hospitalized by Friday. Authorities said the girls are in good to fair condition.

The grieving parents of Muehlberger released a statement through a GoFundMe account set up Friday to help them memorialize their daughter. The memorial page, which was verified by GoFundMe, had raised well over $55,000 Friday night.

“It is with the most unexplainable brokenness that we share our Gracie went to be with Jesus on Thursday morning,” the statement read. “Our vivacious, funny, loyal, light of our lives, Cinderella, the daughter we always dreamed to have, fiercely strong and lover of all things fashionable — was our best friend. She is going to be missed more than words will ever be able to express.”

Muehlberger’s brother also mourned his beloved sister, taking to Twitter to express his grief in the hours after her death.

“My heart is killing me right now, you are the best sister I could’ve asked for, I just know you’re my guardian angel now. I love you Gracie,” he tweeted.

Muehlberger was one of several students shot on the Santa Clarita campus by a classmate before classes began on Thursday, authorities said.

A GoFundMe account was also set up to benefit Blackwell’s family. The account, which had not yet been verified by GoFundMe, had garnered more than $30,000 in donations Friday night.

Based on surveillance video, investigators believe the gunman — identified by sources as Nathaniel Berhow — walked to the quad just after 7:30 a.m., retrieved a gun from his backpack and opened fire, striking five students.

Berhow died at 3:32 p.m. on Friday, a day after he shot himself on what was his 16th birthday, sheriff’s officials said.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting.

Authorities initially said the female victim who died was 16, but Muehlberger’s correct age was confirmed by the coroner’s office Friday.

The city is hosting a Saugus Strong vigil on Sunday night. The vigil will be held at Central Park, located at 27150 Bouqet Canyon Road, and is set to start at 7 p.m.

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