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Orange County Bar Association

Gardena High School Shooting

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

The shooting at Gardena High School earlier this week is being investigated as an accident. The teacher in the classroom heard the student say “I’m sorry” after the gun went off. The weapon was in a backpack and went off as the bag hit the desk. One bullet hit two students in the classroom. A friend of the student commented that he had brought a gun to school because he feared for his safety. The fear stemmed from a fight in school. Gardena High has a procedure to randomly wand students with a metal detector. The school was locked down for several hours after the incident. The student surrendered to police.

Because the student is a minor (under age 18) his case will be prosecuted in the juvenile justice system. On some occasions criminal cases involving juveniles may be prosecuted in the adult system, however, that is generally only the case in very serious matters. While this crime is serious because one bullet passed through two students, it appears to have been accidental in nature and will probably remain in the juvenile system. As a juvenile the student could face up to 6 years at the California youth authority or remain incarcerated until he is 21 years of age. See, California Penal Code Section 246.3 and Welfare and Institutions Code Section 602.

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