Shooter in Saugus Tragedy, Who Was On XC Team, Has Died

An unidentified student is comforted Thursday morning after a shooting at Saugus High School. Credit: Robert Hanashiro | USA Today photos
This article was updated Nov. 15, 6:35 p.m.
There are now three fatalities from the 16-second shooting spree on the Saugus High School campus early Thursday morning in Santa Clarita. 

The suspected shooter of five fellow students before turning the gun on himself, identified as Nathaniel Berhow, died Friday at 3:32 p.m., the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced

Berhow, a junior, was a member of the Saugus cross country and track teams. Thursday was his 16th birthday.

The shooting took place before the start of classes in the quad area of the Saugus High campus Thursday morning where, according to Sheriff's Capt. Kent Wegener's report based on police review of campus video, the suspected shooter pulled a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol out of his backpack and opened fire on other students before shooting himself in the head. Based on the the authorities review of surveillance video, the entire incident lasted 16 seconds.

A 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were killed. They were identified Friday as Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15, and Dominic Blackwell, 14, according to the LA County Coroner's Office, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Neither of the victims is listed as members of the cross country or track teams at Saugus.

Three others were also shot: A 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, none of whom has been identified. They were transported to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. The boy was treated and released Thursday night. The girls remain hospitalized and "were both doing well, doctors said Friday," according to the NBC News report

The school remained closed on Friday.

The Saugus cross country team, scheduled to continue post-season competition Friday in the CIF-Southern Section Preliminaries, were not required to compete in the qualifying meet as they continue to deal with this tragedy. Saugus has been waived into the Nov. 23 CIF-SS Championships at the Riverside City Course. A note on the team's website said they would resume practice on Monday. 

The inserted image was taken during Friday's CIF-SS Prelims as those at the course Riverside expressed their support to the school and the surrounding community. (Credit: Zoe Medranda)

Saugus high cross country and track coach Rene Paragas, who was not on campus at the time of the shooting, met with his team Thursday afternoon. Paragas declined an offer to comment about his team going forward but the @Saugus_XC account on Twitter posted the following Thursday night:

The Saugus girls team is among the best in the state in Division I, most recently putting up an almost perfect score in winning a 14th consecutive Foothill League title on Nov. 2. The boys team placed second at the league finals.
Berhow ran in three cross country races this fall, most recently placing 33rd in the boys JV race at the league finals. 

There continues to be an outpouring of love and support for the Saugus HS community on social media from across the country and very close to home, including from Foothill League rivals like West Ranch and Golden Valley.

The hashtag #saugusstrong was trending on Twitter late Thursday afternoon.

MileSplitCA Southern Section Editor Mark Gardner contributed to this report.