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Sheriff Says Teen Used 'Ghost Gun' in School Shooting

California teen's father had guns confiscated
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2019 5:27 AM CST
Updated Nov 22, 2019 6:30 AM CST
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The family home of school shooter is seen in Santa Clarita, Calif., Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – The weapon used in last week's school shooting in California was an unregistered "ghost gun" assembled from a kit, authorities say. While it's not clear who assembled it, police say the parts can be bought online or at gun shows without a background check and instructions can be found on YouTube, meaning 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow could have easily put it together himself. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said another kit gun and more gun parts were found in the teen's home, BuzzFeed reports. Berhow used the .45-caliber handgun to kill two classmates at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita on Nov. 14 before shooting himself. He died from his injuries the next day.

"They're sold as a kit," the sheriff said, per KABC. "You can legally buy it, assemble the weapon yourself and then you have a gun that is not registered and no one knows that you have it, and that is very dangerous." The Wall Street Journal reports that investigators are trying to determine whether the gun was put together by Berhow's father, a hunter and gun enthusiast who died from a heart attack in 2017. Police say firearms registered to Mark Berhow were seized in 2016 after he was detained for a mental health evaluation. The sheriff says the guns were destroyed after the father became a "prohibited possessor." Police say they haven't uncovered a motive for the shooting, which took place on Berhow's 16th birthday. (Read more Saugus shooting stories.)

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