Los Angeles County coroner’s officials have identified one of the 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.
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 appeared to know how many shots he had fired, striking five other students, and left the final bullet for 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. Of the five students who were shot, two died at a nearby hospital, including Gracie. Officials are still working to confirm the identity of the other teen who died, a 14-year-old boy, according to coroner’s spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
In the hours after the shooting, 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.
The young girl was described as sweet and fun, someone who made a momentous impact in her short lifetime. A photo on Facebook shows her smiling broadly beside her two brothers. Her knee pops up in one image. In another, she affectionately holds onto 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.
Of the other teens who were shot, two girls remained hospitalized Friday but are expected to recover from their injuries, doctors said. Both girls are in the same room at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills and are surrounded by their families.
A 15-year-old girl came to the hospital Thursday with a gunshot wound below her belly button, authorities said. The bullet, which had lodged in her hip, was removed by doctors. The other girl, a 14-year-old, had a gunshot wound 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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