A LOOK BACK: REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS OF THE SAUGUS HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING

Just over a year ago, a 16 year old student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California brought a gun to school and attacked his peers. Within just sixteen seconds he shot five students, killing two, before taking his own life. This event serves as a grave reminder that school shootings, while statistically uncommon, still occur all too often in this country. Armoured One looks back at this attack and points out some things to keep in mind.

Senseless Killing

The shooter entered the school that morning, his weapon hidden in his backpack. By 7:38 am he had retrieved the gun and shot five students who were in close proximity. The shootings appeared to be random and without motive. He then turned the gun on himself. The student seemed to have had experience with the gun since he was able to clear a jam before shooting again.

Two of the victims, 15 year old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14 year old Dominic Blackwell, died at the scene. Three other victims luckily survived the events of that day. Off-duty law enforcement who were dropping their kids off to school that morning responded to the events after they occurred. They are credited with helping to save the lives of the three survivors.

School Shooters: It Could Be Anyone

We often think that the typical school shooter is the loner, the kid who gets bullied and doesn’t have many friends. Dr. Peter Langman, author of the book How Kids Kill, debunks this theory stating that most youth get bullied at some point in their schooling years. However, most people don’t pick up a gun and kill their peers. As he stated, “You can’t explain something [school shootings] extraordinarily rare by pointing to something [bullying] that’s extraordinarily common.”

The shooting at Saugus High School shows that you can’t profile school shooters into one category. The shooter was a normal kid with friends and a girlfriend who never exhibited signs of depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, or violence. There was also no evidence that he experienced bullying or had ties to groups that might promote such violent behavior. While his father had died a couple of years prior to the incident, there didn’t seem to be any discord at home.

School Shootings: It Could Happen Anywhere

Most people think that shootings would never happen in their towns or in their schools. This adds a false sense of security because school shootings have occurred in every type of town and every level of education. Santa Clarita is considered to be a safe town with great schools and a family-friendly environment. The school had security cameras, limited entrances, a sheriff’s deputy, and a number of campus guards. All of these factors would make many believe that something as horrific could happen in their town or at their child’s school.

HOW SCHOOLS CAN PREPARE

Schools have a number of options available to them in order to prepare for and respond to active shooter attacks. These include:

  • Active Shooter Prevention Training – Active shooter training through ONE Training is offered only to school faculty and staff. Research shows that 83% of past active shooters were current or former students which is why it’s critical to leave students out of the response solutions.
  • Building Security Risk Assessments – Building security risk assessments provide an affordable solution for school districts to consider the security of their buildings. Armoured One team members go on site to complete thorough assessments for each building to then provide realistic suggested changes that the district can implement right away.
  • Shooter-Attack Certified Film – This bullet-resistant product can be applied to existing windows and doors to help harden the exterior of a building and keep an outside shooter at bay. This gives law enforcement a chance to respond before the perpetrator is inside the building.
  • Shooter-Attack Certified Glass – This bullet-resistant product can be added during new construction or renovations to help harden the exterior of a building and keep an outside shooter at bay. This gives law enforcement a chance to respond before the perpetrator is inside the building. The glass comes in multiple thicknesses and with varying rating options.

Contact Us

Armoured One offers the solutions that schools and businesses need to better protect their students, faculty, staff, or employees. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services and how we can work together.

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