Girl to Classmate After LA School Shooting: 'I Didn't Mean To'

12-year-old girl said gun went off in her backpack by accident
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2018 3:02 AM CST
Updated Feb 2, 2018 6:11 AM CST
Cops: LA School Shooting Was Accidental
People pick up students after a shooting at Salvador B. Castro Middle School near downtown Los Angeles on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Police believe a school shooting that injured five people near downtown Los Angeles Thursday morning was accidental—but the 12-year-girl responsible is still in custody. Police say the girl, who allegedly brought a semi-automatic handgun to Salvador Castro Middle School in her backpack, has been booked into juvenile hall on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm on school grounds, the BBC reports. A classmate tells the AP that after the gun went off, the girl told him: "I didn't mean to. I had the gun in my backpack and I didn't know it was loaded and my backpack fell and the gun went off." He says the girl "doesn't do bad things, she just stays quiet."

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The most seriously injured student, a 15-year-old boy in the classroom next-door who was shot in the head, is expected to make a full recovery, doctors say. "This child was extremely lucky," says Dr. Aaron Strumwasser at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. "I think he will do fine." A 12-year-old girl shot in the wrist is in fair condition. Two other students, ages 11 and 12, and a 30-year-old woman suffered minor injuries, some from broken glass. Los Angeles School Police Chief Steve Zipperman says he doesn't know where the girl got the gun or why she brought it to school, the Los Angeles Times reports. He says gun owners should obey the city's law on safe storage of weapons and keep their guns secure and away from children. (Read more school shooting stories.)

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