Santa Clarita school shooting victim named; Suspected gunman dies

Posted at 10:59 AM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 20:05:23-05

(KGTV) — The coroner's office has identified a teenager killed after a student pulled out a handgun and fired at classmates at a Southern California high school Thursday.

Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15, died from her injuries in the shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita. One other student, a 14-year-old boy, also died at Henry Mayo Hospital in Valencia, but his identity has not been released.

Three other students, 14-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl, and a 15-year-old girl, were injured in the shooting, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Hospital officials say they have already released the 14-year-old boy, and the two girls were doing well and may be released in one or two days.


Investigators say surveillance video shows the gunman take a 45-caliber handgun out of his backpack and shoot five other students in the campus quad just after 7:30 a.m. The shooting happened in just 16 seconds, sending the campus into a lockdown and prompting some students and staff to barricade doors or flee.

Villanueva said the suspect was identified by matching the video footage to him while he was in the hospital. ABC News and CNN have identified the suspect as 16-year-old Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow.

Berhow, a junior at the high school, died Friday from injuries after a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Sheriff's Homicide detectives told ABC News. Detectives said his mother was present at the time of his death.

Investigators were still searching for a motive Friday. One detective said the shooting occurred on Berhow's 16th birthday.

"We have not yet established a motive or a nexus between the subject and his victims," Sheriff's Capt. Kent Wegener said Thursday. Officials added there's no history of Berhow being bullied or belief he "was acting on behalf of any group or ideology."

Investigators said they believe the students injured were targeted at random, but added "it wasn't a spur of the moment act."

It's unclear how Berhow reportedly acquired the firearm used in the attack. Several firearms were found in his home after investigators served a search warrant.

Authorities added that Berhow's father, who's no longer alive, had six firearms registered to his name. None of those firearms matched the ones located by investigators.

"It's a sad day in Saugus, it's a sad day in Los Angeles County and the nation for another tragic shooting at a school," said Villanueva on Thursday.

All schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District were closed Friday and counseling was made available to staff and students. A community vigil has been planned for 7 p.m. Sunday at Santa Clarita's Central Park.

City News Service contributed to this report.