A 17-year-old student at the Santee Education Complex was shot in the leg Thursday afternoon, Sept. 2, as classes at the South Los Angeles campus were letting out, authorities said, leaving the teen with non-life-threatening injuries.
The shooting seems to have stemmed from a feud between two students that started on Friday, Aug. 27, when one student allegedly attempted to rob another student of his gold chain, said Officer Gil Gamez, president of the Los Angeles School Police Officers Association.
Related: Authorities unsure if person who shot teen outside Santee Education Complex was a student
The animosity carried over into Thursday, Sept 3, when the alleged victim of the attempted robbery allegedly beat up the student who had reportedly tried to steal from him, Gamez said.
Later, when school let out, Gamez said, the two students allegedly got into another altercation just outside of the campus.
“It was dismissal time, and there were kids walking home from school,” he said.
Gamez initially said, based on early accounts from other students, that the person who had allegedly attempted to rob the other student the week before allegedly pulled out a gun and fired it. But late Thursday, the officer said that upon further investigation, authorities now believe the shot was allegedly fired by a man who had gotten out of a car near where the two students were reportedly fighting.
“Findings on social media show a third person coming out of a car,” he said, adding that authorities had not yet identified that man.
Authorities know the identity of the student who was not shot, but Gamez said he did not know if that student had been located or questioned.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles School Police Management Association issued a statement, indicating that the student who was shot had not suffered a life-threatening injury.
“A school police officer was close enough to apply a tourniquet and provide immediate medical attention,” the association stated.
School administrators believe both students have gang ties, Gamez said. Authorities are looking into that possibility.
Breaking News: #LASPD is responding to an additional gun shot victim down on the perimeter of Maple Primary Center located at Maple Ave and 36th Street down the street of Santee HS. Please stay clear of the area.
— LA School Police (@LASchoolPolice) September 2, 2021
When the gunfire erupted, some students had been walking and biking home. Others were waiting for parents, or for their friends to finish up at school. Student athletes were packed inside the gym for a meeting.
Then a school administrator from Frida Kahlo High School, a continuation school adjacent to Santee High, ran outside and yelled at students to get back inside.
Both schools locked down.
“A lot of us felt different emotions — some of us wanted to leave because we were hungry, some of us were scared, trying to stay in and be safe,” said one Santee senior. “But emotions were all over the place.”
A senior at Frida Kahlo recounted how she could have been really close to the shooting.
“And it’s crazy, ’cause me and him walk that way, and we could’ve seen it,” she said, pointing to where the shooting took place. “But we stayed with them,” she said, now pointing to other friends. “So we were good.”
Not long afterward, a second shooting broke out about 12 blocks away, near the Maple Primary Center, another Los Angeles Unified campus. It appears that shooting was unrelated to that school or to the Santee shooting, authorities said, with an adult getting grazed and the suspect fleeing.