The shooter, who killed two of his classmates at Saugus High School in California, died of his injuries Friday, the sheriff of Los Angeles County said in a statement. Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, 16, was reportedly treated for a gunshot wound on his head, and his mother was with him when he died.
On Thursday morning, Berhow pulled a pistol out of his backpack at the Santa Clarita School and shot five of his classmates before pointing the gun at himself, the authorities said.
"We did not know if the shooter had a clear view of us or not, we just sprinted and we loved to pray for our lives," one student told Jonathan Vigliotti of CBS News. "I actually thought I was going to die."
The authorities said it was not yet clear why Berhow carried out the deadly attack on his sixteenth birthday. He left neither a diary nor a manifesto, and he was not linked to any violent ideology or group.
However, they believe the attack was planned, citing the fact that Berhow used the last bullet in the gun to shoot himself. It is not clear how Berhow got the gun – the authorities said it was not one of the six weapons in his house that were registered with his deceased father, although they found that there were also several unregistered firearms in the house.
Sophomore Micah Turner told CBS News that she had witnessed the shootout first-hand.
"He shot two people and I saw that happen," Turner said. "I saw him firing only one, two, three, and then I knew I was like I had to get out of it."
When asked what moments would stay with her, Turner said, "His face and I only see a person fall."
"It's going to be hard to forget," she added. "But I'll have to live with that sight in my head."