The 14-year-old boy who allegedly fired a Soviet semi-automatic rifle at a southern California high school Friday swiped the weapon from his dad and now is facing attempted murder charges, authorities told the Daily News.
“The rifle belonged to the father,” a source with the Los Angeles County Sheriff said Wednesday.
The boy, who was not named, was charged with two counts of attempted murder, six counts of assault with an assault weapon and one count of possessing a firearm in a school zone, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney said.
The minor denied the charges Tuesday and is due back in court June 28, the spokesman said.
The incident at the Highland High School campus in Palmdale sparked a mass panic and a flurry of calls reporting an active shooter at around 7 a.m. Friday, authorities said.
The teen defendant allegedly fired off about 10 rounds with the SKS rifle, hitting another boy in the arm, and then fled the campus before he was apprehended at a nearby Vons supermarket, authorities said.
The victim was rushed to a local hospital by a bystander and underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to his shoulder, officials said. He is expected to recover.
People wait following reports of the shooting at Highland High School. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
The rifle used in the attack was recovered in a nearby field, authorities said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the alleged shooter’s mom and dad made separate emergency calls to a friend who’s an LAPD officer as the incident was unfolding.
The off-duty officer quickly located and “detained” the suspected shooter, the sheriff said.
“The LAPD officer had gotten a call from the subject’s mother in the morning, and she told him they were having trouble with the subject, who had run away from the house,” McDonnell said at a press conference on Friday.
The sheriff said the shooting started in the vicinity of a campus bathroom, but he declined to comment on reports the suspect first gave a warning to students in the bathroom that he was about to start shooting.