Students retrieve their belongings after California shooting

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 20:26:06-05

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) — Students were allowed Tuesday to retrieve belongings left behind when they evacuated their Southern California school last week after a teen shot five classmates, killing two.

Classes at Saugus High in Santa Clarita were canceled until Dec. 2, but administrators scheduled counseling sessions this week to help students, staff and relatives deal with last Thursday’s shooting.

Investigators still don’t know why Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow opened fire in a campus quad and then shot himself in the head. The 16-year-old died Friday.

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The last hospitalized victim, a 15-year-old girl, went home Monday, according to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center spokeswoman Pat Aidem.

A wounded 14-year-old girl was released from the same hospital Friday. A 14-year-old boy was treated and released Thursday.

The dead were identified as 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell.

Thousands of people attended a candlelight vigil a city park Sunday night.

RELATED: Santa Clarita high school shooting: 2 killed, 3 hurt; suspected shooter in 'grave' condition

Mike Kuhlman, deputy superintendent for William S. Hart Union High School District, said students could pick up their belongings from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday.

“I think I'm just nervous for the kids,” parent Sarah Acosta told KABC-TV. “I think they lost a little of their innocence through this whole thing.”

Returning students hugged one another, greeted teachers and pet therapy dogs that were on hand. Outside the school there was a large memorial of flowers, photos and handwritten notes.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we approach this task,” Mike Kuhlman, deputy superintendent for William S. Hart Union High School District, said of the retrieval of students’ personal items. “We cannot lose sight of the fact that there are families in our community whose lives have been shattered by the events of this past week.”

The district’s 15 other campuses reopened Monday.