This dispatch comes from Jill, who reported from Santa Clarita:
The contours of the shooting that took place Thursday morning at Saugus High School were stomach-churningly familiar.
A 16-year-old opened fire on his schoolmates before turning the gun on himself. A 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were killed. Three other students were wounded.
Talking to parents and students, what struck me was how prepared they seemed.
Everyone I spoke with said they never thought their laid-back suburb — with its quiet neighborhoods of ranch houses and its stucco strip malls — would be the site of a school shooting like the ones they’d seen so many times on the news.
But when it was, they were ready. Parents told me that the school’s alert systems worked properly and that they were regularly updated about the incident by text. Students said that they knew from drills to barricade themselves inside their classrooms, and that their teachers were capable leaders.
They discussed the identity of the shooter on social media, one student told me, but encouraged one another to delete incorrect posts. (The suspect, who was said to be in grave condition, has not been identified by the authorities.)
“We weren’t saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to die,’” the student, Maxximus Almaraz, a 16-year-old junior, said. “We were like, ‘How crazy this is happening to us.’”
Later on Thursday, churches around the area opened their doors to anyone who wanted to mourn and grief counselors met with families.
The Rev. Christopher Montella of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, not far from the high school, said he and his colleagues quickly put together a service.
“We gather,” he told several dozen congregants spread throughout the pews, “because it’s through each other we find strength.”
Teenagers in sweatshirts and scrunchies bowed their heads. Their parents clutched them in hugs. Elders sang every word of a hymn that filled the sanctuary. A boy with floppy blond hair pulled his flannel shirt over his face as he cried.
“Peace be with you,” they told one another, their eyes welling.
“And also with you.”
A vigil was set for Sunday.
Here’s what else we’re following
The latest in the Trump impeachment inquiry: Speaker Nancy Pelosi used the word “bribery,” which is mentioned in the Constitution’s impeachment clause, to describe President Trump’s conduct with Ukraine. Marie Yovanovitch, the former United States ambassador to Ukraine, will appear as the sole witness in today’s hearing. Here’s what to expect. [The New York Times]
A Marin County woman was healthy before she started vaping six months ago. She died last week from a severe lung injury, in the fourth such case in California since July. [San Francisco Chronicle]
The Ridgecrest earthquakes in July ruptured at least 24 faults, new research shows, illustrating how small faults can join together to produce a larger quake that covers a wider area than expected. [The Los Angeles Times]
Native communities are teaching landowners and government agencies to fight wildfires — with fire. [Mother Jones]
Students in California graduate with an average of more than $20,000 in student debt. How did college costs get so high, and what can be done about it? [CalMatters]
As climate change vexes cities around the world, officials are reimagining the role of cars. Here’s a look at some policies. [The New York Times]
The city of Sacramento could purchase shelters that can be built in 20 minutes with no tools to help house homeless people. [The Sacramento Bee]
While dismissals for sexual misconduct are extremely rare among correctional officers in state prisons, advocates for inmates say abuse by staff is more widespread than the records show. [KQED]
To start its new streaming service, Disney Plus, the company dug deep into its archives. But it skipped over movies like “Song of the South” that contain content that would be considered problematic today. [The New York Times]
A show about nothing? It turns out that Rick Ludwin, the longtime NBC executive, was right to back “Seinfeld.” Mr. Ludwin died this week at home in Los Angeles. [The New York Times]
And finally …
Have we reached peak bouldering?
Young professionals have been flocking to indoor climbing walls in recent years, seeking an exercise that is intense, unstructured and sociable. (Engineers in particular seem to be attracted to the sport, our Styles writer notes: Google, for example, has installed rock walls at its offices in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Manhattan.)
Rock gyms often resemble Technicolor planets or caves bedecked with Fruity Pebbles. And they may be one of the last urban locales where talking to strangers is encouraged.
“It does seem like the growth of the gym industry is continuing to trend upward,” a journalist and climbing coach said.
Read the full story here.