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Los Angeles Middle School Shooting Deemed Accidental

A 15-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl suffered gunshot wounds as a result of a shooting at Salvador Castro Middle School on Thursday morning. Three other people suffered superficial face and head injuries. The shooting has been deemed an isolated incident involving negligence and accidental. 

The 12-year-old girl suspected of firing the weapon faces charges for being a minor in possession of a firearm, bringing a weapon on school grounds, and negligent discharge of a firearm. The unidentified girl is being held in Los Angeles County Central Juvenile Hall and is expected to be arraigned on Monday.

Jordan Valenzuela, a member of the class next door to the room where the shooting took place, heard a bang and screaming just before 9:00 a.m. According to Valenzuela, the girl told him she did not know the gun was loaded and the gun went off accidentally when she dropped her backpack. She was taken into custody immediately after the shooting.

Police interviewed the suspect and other witnesses and agreed the shooting was accidental. A semiautomatic handgun was recovered and the campus declared safe. At this time, it is unclear where the girl got the weapon or why she brought it to school. The girl's grandmother was briefly interviewed, who told reporters that her granddaughter is a loving and kind child but was bullied by a fellow classmate at school. 

The school district employs a policy requiring every middle and high school campus to conduct daily random searches by metal-detector wands throughout the school day for students in the sixth grade and up. One student said that Castro performed a random security search on Thursday but that she has never personally been checked. 

The victims include a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head and is in critical condition at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center but is expected to survive. Another female student was shot in the wrist. Two other students and one administrator suffered minor injuries. 

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