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L.A. student took a bullet in the jaw, but the district didn't disclose the shooting for 2 weeks

Howard Blume, Sonali Kohli And Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

"We have received further information that the injury appears to be a result of an 'off-campus' discharge of a firearm from an unknown location or person, whereby the projectile came to rest within the campus perimeter, striking a student," the principal said. "As previously mentioned, the injured student is recovering and has been receiving the necessary support."

It was not immediately clear how officials knew that the gun was fired "off-campus" if they did not know the origin of the gunfire.

In his memo, Zipperman told the board that his office received an update from Los Angeles police last Thursday and that parents would have been apprised Tuesday night regardless of Gamez's disclosures.

Hollenbeck is a large campus, occupying about two blocks atop a short hill, and serves about 1,000 students. Its white, red-roofed buildings and open spaces are surrounded by a chain-link fence, which provides separation from the surrounding streets. The outdoor lunch tables are clearly visible from beyond the fencing.

In an interview after his comments to the school board, Gamez said he was not personally involved in the investigation.

At Hollenbeck late Tuesday afternoon, families, including Darline Archelus and her children, were just beginning to absorb word of the shooting. Her son goes to Hollenbeck and her daughter attends nearby Roosevelt High.


"It's scary because you know there's many kids, and things like that happen to anybody," Archelus said. "You never know what could happen."

She likes that an adult stands at the gate as students enter and exit, but the campus should adopt a stronger safety plan, she said.

After Gamez spoke at the meeting, one board member, George McKenna, expressed surprise that he was just learning about the shooting and asked whether the gun was fired from off campus or on campus. Gamez replied that he did not know.

No other board member commented on the shooting; they quickly returned to the scheduled topic, a discussion about the district budget. The shooting was not further discussed at the meeting.


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