Santa Clarita shooting: Girl killed at Saugus High turned 15 a month ago; boy who died was 14
Los Angeles County coroner’s officials have identified the two teenagers shot and killed Thursday in a horrific 16-second attack in which police say a 16-year-old student opened fire on his classmates.
Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15, died at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia at 9:23 a.m., authorities said Friday. She had celebrated a birthday Oct. 10.
Dominic Blackwell, 14, died Thursday.
Law enforcement officials have placed a security hold on the girl’s case, meaning no information about her death will be released until the hold is lifted.
On Thursday morning, not long before the start of the second period of the school day, a 16-year-old boy pulled a .45-caliber pistol from his backpack and began shooting, sheriff’s officials said. He wounded five other students, then turned the gun on himself, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
It was all over too quickly for anyone to intervene, although law enforcement was on the scene within moments.
Gracie’s parents said in a GoFundMe campaign they are searching for a way to memorialize their daughter. The account raised more than $9,000 in its first hour.
“It is with the most unexplainable brokenness that we share our Gracie went to be with Jesus on Thursday morning,” the page reads. “Our vivacious, funny, loyal, light of our lives, Cinderella, the daughter we always dreamed to have, fiercely strong and lover of all things fashionable — was our best friend. She is going to be missed more than words will ever be able to express.”
The Muehlbergers concluded the post with a message to Gracie: “We will love you always Sweetpea.”
Gracie was described by classmates as sweet and fun, someone who made a momentous impact in her short life. Alexa Olsen, a freshman at Saugus High School who was in a dance class with Gracie, said she remembered her as a goofy, fun girl who cheered her on.
When the girls made eye contact in the middle of practice as they danced to jazz, Gracie would make funny faces and the two would burst out laughing, Alexa said. When they made a mistake, the two would laugh together and keep on dancing.
“She was so nice and kind to everyone,” said Alexa, 14. “You would just smile looking at her.”
Though the girls no longer had dance class together, Gracie would still wave and smile when they passed each other in the hallway, Alexa said.
“She knew everyone and everyone knew her. It’s sad she passed away at such a young age and didn’t get to experience what other people experience.”
In the hours after the attack, friends and family took to social media to express their anguish over the shooting.
“My heart is killing me right now,” a person who identified himself as Gracie’s brother posted on Twitter. “You are the best sister I could’ve asked for. I just know you’re my guardian angel now. I love you Gracie.”
More than 4,500 people — many of them classmates but some strangers — commented on Gracie’s sole post on Instagram, which appears to be a silhouetted image of herself.
On Instagram, classmates and friends posted videos of the teen dancing and group selfies filled with funny faces and laughter.
You were the pretty one with the sweetest soul.
I’m really glad I had the chance to meet someone as great as Gracie.
I still don’t believe that you are gone, and I don’t want to.
A photo on Facebook shows her smiling broadly beside her two brothers. Her knee pops up in one image. In another, she affectionately holds on to her brother’s arm.
In what appears to be a Twitter account belonging to Gracie, a post from last fall shares a young girl’s desire for new clothes.
Video of Dominic posted to Instagram show a young beaming boy, making faces at the camera amid off-screen laughter. His Instagram page includes the name “comedian,” a clear nod to his budding comedic persona.
A separate GoFundMe account launched in support of the Saugus High School community and started by two alums has raised more than $15,000, already surpassing its $10,000 goal. The page states that funds will be donated to memorials, grief counseling and trauma support.
Of the other teens who were shot, two girls. ages 15 and 14, remained hospitalized Friday but are expected to recover, doctors said. The girls are now in the same room at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, surrounded by their families.
The 15-year-old was shot below the navel, authorities said. The bullet lodged in her hip and was removed by doctors. The 14-year-old had wounds to her left shoulder and lower abdomen, doctors said Friday. Both girls are expected to be released in the next day or two.
Another student, a 14-year-old boy, was treated and released Thursday afternoon from nearby Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.
Times staff writer Hannah Fry contributed to this report.
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