Interim Superintendent Vivian Ekchian of the LA Unified School District, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were hurt in today's shooting incident at Sal Castro Middle School and with all the students, families and employees on the campus". "Someone made a decision to bring a gun, I guess someone was accidentally playing around with it", admits Benjamin (who's real name is hidden at the request of his guardians), a seventh-grader attending the Sal Castro Middle School.
Gunfire erupted shortly before 9 a.m.at Salvador B. Castro Middle School just west of the city's downtown, police said.
A 15-year-old girl who was shot in the wrist also was hospitalized.
The two victims, one 15-year-old boy and a girl of the same age, were transferred to nearby USC Medical center. In addition to the two 15-year-olds, they were described as a 30-year-old woman, an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl. The aforementioned boy is in stable condition and is expected to fully recover.
The boy was initially listed in critical condition but doctors said that the bullet didn't hit anything vital or cause any life-threatening injury. She had seen news of the shooting on TV and came to get her daughter, who is a student at the middle school.
The girl was arrested as a juvenile Thursday night on suspicion of negligently discharging a firearm on school grounds.
"We do not know yet. how our young person on this campus ended up having the ability to have access to a firearm and bring it onto campus", said Los Angeles School Police Chief Steve Zipperman.
"She doesn't do bad things, she just stays quiet", he added.
"The school has been declared safe at this point".
On Friday morning, anxious parents accompanied their children to the school as classes resumed.
"I guess someone was accidentally playing around with it", said Benjamin, a 12-year-old seventh-grader whose guardian asked that his last name not be used.
Arcos said that the 12-year-old has an attorney and is not talking to investigators. "There is no more safety threat to the students of this school".
The district has a policy which states random searches should be carried out daily with a metal detector wand.
Thursday's shooting in Los Angeles is one of the earliest grade-school level school shootings of the year, amid increasing concerns over gun violence on campuses nationwide. Last year, Castro Middle had an enrollment of 355 students.