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Calif. School Shooting Had Surprise First Responders

That was the 'silver lining,' says LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2019 1:30 PM CST
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Student Sayla David, 12, holds thank you signs for first responders outside the Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – Amid yet another school shooting, a ray of hope: two off-duty officers and a detective who rushed to help, USA Today reports. "Off-duty first responders were there and did not hesitate, turned around and went right into the source of the gunfire to attempt to neutralize it, and they rendered first aid immediately," LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says in a press conference of the Saugus High School shooting. "Their actions definitely saved lives, and my hat's off to them." Detective Daniel Finn was the first to arrive Thursday at the suburban LA school where a student had killed two teenagers and wounded three others. Finn had just driven a family member to the school when gunfire erupted.

He "was exiting, driving away from the school along the perimeter, when he saw all of the children running away from the sound of the gunfire," says Villanueva. "He turned around and became the very first person on scene." Officer Gus Ramirez of the LA Police Department and Officer Sean Yanez from Inglewood PD were only a few seconds behind. Seeing the victims and the handgun, they considered the threat neutralized and focused on applying first aid. "It's a tragedy every way you look at it, but there’s a silver lining behind this: the fact that off-duty first responders were there and did not hesitate," says Villanueava, per the Mercury News. (The shooter, identified by USA Today, apparently took his own life.)

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