Tag Archives: Gardena High School

Lawsuit Pending After Gardena High School Shooting

Recent news reports out of Gardena, California, regarding the shooting that occurred at their local high school, claim that the family of one of the wounded students intends to file a lawsuit against the school district. Let’s review the facts in the case, and then we’ll look at the lawsuit.

Trendell Gholar was the 15 year old boy who was shot first by a bullet allegedly fired accidently by a fellow classmate on January 18. Original reports indicated that the gun somehow discharged when the boy’s backpack was dropped on the desk. That story has been modified, and new reports indicate that the gun went off when the 17-year old boy reached into his backpack to get something to eat, in the process, triggering the gun and causing it to discharge a single bullet which first hit Trendell in the neck and then hit a 15-year old girl in the head, fracturing her skull. While Trendell was treated and eventually released, the 15-year old girl remains in serious condition at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where doctors say she is showing signs of improvement; opening her eyes and responding to questions by nodding.

The 17-year old who brought the gun to school was already on probation for a misdemeanor battery charge prior to this incident. And his friends have stated that it isn’t the first time he brought a gun to school. Para Ross, a fellow classmate said, “I think he was just scared — scared of what was going to happen when he left school and took the bus home. There are a lot of gangs around here. People are dying.” Regardless of his rationale behind bringing the gun to school, this boy faces two felonies: possessing a firearm in a school zone and discharging a firearm in a school zone, and, if he is tried as an adult, he could face up to seven years in a state prison. If, however, he is tried as a minor, he might face a maximum of nine months in a juvenile detention center.

On January 24, KTLA News reported that the mother of 15-year old Trendell Gholar has hired lawyers from the Cochran Firm, who, in a statement released on Friday, January 21, stated that the Los Angeles Unified School District “failed miserably” in its duty to protect its students. To file a lawsuit against the government, attorneys first must file a claim, which they intend to do sometime this week, and unless there is a settlement, the lawsuit proceeds. In the initial claim, Gholar’s attorneys first declare that the LAUSD failed to guarantee the safety of its students by following established security procedures which involve passing metal detector wands over all students and their backpacks as they enter the school. The school district admitted to KTLA that it’s possible that security policies were not followed that day; they admit that the wanding had been inconsistent over the weeks and months before this incident and that it’s possible wanding wasn’t done on January 18th at all.

This lawsuit will also focus on the effectiveness of the school’s emergency response in respect to their treatment of Gholar after he was shot. Apparently, Gholar staggered into the hall after the discharged bullet passed through his neck. At this point, he was ushered into the nurse’s office where he was locked in for 40 minutes, during which time, he received no medical treatment for his wound. 

In a statement from the Los Angeles Unified School District in response to this pending lawsuit, they stated: “Providing a safe and healthy environment for our students is a top priority for the District, so we intend to learn as much as we can from the events to ensure that students are appropriately treated and cared for in emergency situations.”

By its own admission, the school district had become lackadaisical in its security measures, and its half-hearted efforts to wand students who entered the premises provided the opportunity for the very thing the security measures were designed to eradicate to occur. Leaving me to believe that this lawsuit, if it goes to trial, will be a slam dunk for Gholar’s attorneys.

We will have to wait to see if the parents of the seriously injured 15-year old girl will file a lawsuit as well.

More News From Gardena High

Here is the latest update regarding the shooting at Gardena High School.

First of all, initial reports indicated that the gun taken to school on Tuesday by a 17-year old student in his backpack discharged accidently when he dropped his backpack on his desk. According to more recent reports from Associated Press, the gun discharged when he reached into his backpack for something to eat, striking two students with a single bullet.

The 15-year old boy who was hit first in the neck with the bullet was released from the hospital Wednesday because luckily the bullet missed major nerves, arteries, and his spine. He is recovering at home.

The bullet then hit a 15-year old girl in the head, fracturing her skull. She is still in critical condition after surgery to remove a blood clot and is using a breathing tube. There appears to be some improvement, and according to the chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Gail Anderson Jr., she “seems to be moving her extremities more. She’s much more awake.” She cautions that it is still too early to tell whether she will have any permanent damage. “Children respond better, many times, than adults so we’re hopeful,” Anderson said. “But we really can’t tell, probably, until she gets the breathing tube taken out. … We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

The 17-year old shooter is facing two felony charges of bringing a firearm to a school zone and discharging it, and the Los Angeles County prosecutors are also asking the court to try him as an adult. If he is convicted as a juvenile, he could face up to nine months in a detention camp, and if tried and found guilty as an adult, he could face up to seven years in state prison.

As far as the two students who allegedly helped the shooter try to escape by taking his backpack, giving him different clothes, and giving him bus fare, prosecutors are reviewing the evidence against them to decide whether to file criminal charges.

Gardena High School Update

This is a quick update regarding the shooting at Gardena High School in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

As I reported to you in my blog yesterday, a 17-year old boy was arrested for bringing a gun to school which discharged when he set the backpack it was in on his desk, accidently shooting two 15-year old students. A boy was shot in the neck, and the bullet passed through his neck and struck a female classmate in the side of the head which fractured her skull. None of the students have been identified as of yet.

The girl who was shot is apparently showing improvement but remains in critical condition after being operated on by doctors at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center promptly after being transported there on Tuesday. During her surgery, doctors removed a blood clot and also removed the bone to allow her brain room to swell over the following 48 hours.

The boy who was shot in the neck was released from the same facility yesterday.

And what of the 17-year old who is responsible for this whole fiasco? As I reported yesterday, after this incident, he ran from the room and, according to The Times, two fellow students tried to help him escape from the school. The boy gave his backpack to a girl, and a boy gave him a sweatshirt in order to change his appearance. Additionally, one of these students allegedly gave him money for bus fare to leave the area. At this time, the backpack has not been found. So what fate awaits these three teenagers?

The 17-year old was arrested and is awaiting possible charges. New reports indicate that he apparently stole the gun he brought to school from his stepfather, and investigators are recommending a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. Additional information has surfaced that this same boy was already on probation for a misdemeanor battery conviction.

The two students who helped this young man were also arrested and are supposed to appear in juvenile court on Friday.

Students have returned to Gardena High School under much tighter security and are being subjected to searches and metal detector scans. Counselors are working with those who need grief counseling. John Deasey, the Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent, says the district policy is to do daily random weapons searches at high schools, and this school failed to follow district policy, thus providing the opportunity for this tragedy to occur. But, again, if these searches are random, there is no guarantee that this boy’s gun would have been discovered. Deasey also stated that the 17-year old who brought the gun to school would be expelled.

Meanwhile, it is still unclear why he had the gun in the first place. As more news surfaces, I will keep you updated.


Bizarre Events in Los Angeles’ School

Now here is a truly strange and terrible story out of Los Angeles yesterday. Before I tell you the story, let me set the scene.

Gardena High School is located in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and it has a sketchy record already. It is a school with a history of discipline problems and racial tension which has caused numerous fights. Additionally, it is ranked as one of the district’s lowest-performing high schools with a 35 percent dropout rate. CBS News reports: “Five years ago, more than 2,000 students were suspended, and 15 students were expelled. Those figures remained high until last year when the number of suspensions dropped to 300 and expulsions to two.”

Yesterday, the normal activities at Gardena were violently interrupted by the sound of gunshot when a sophomore dropped his backpack on his desk, and the gun which he was carrying in that backpack somehow discharged. Now, this on its own is unreal! Lt. John Pasquariello of the Los Angeles police department said of this bizarre event, “We don’t know exactly what happened. Traditionally, guns don’t go off without someone’s finger on the trigger.” But, to make matters worse, and more unbelievable, two students were shot by the one bullet that discharged.

One of the victims was a 15-year old girl who suffered a skull fracture, bruising of the brain, and developed a “significant blood clot” caused when the bullet grazed her skull. The other victim was a 15-year old boy who was shot in the neck by the same bullet.

The boy who brought the gun to school reportedly yelled that he was sorry after the gun discharged, and he ran from the room. The teacher, who was in the classroom, felt that the boy’s response proved that this was a tragic accident.

So how did he get into the school with a gun? According to the district’s spokesperson, schools can’t afford metal detectors, but students are checked randomly as they arrive with security wands. Sadly, this boy must not have been one of those randomly checked yesterday morning.

So, what has happened to the three students forever linked in this bizarre story? The girl’s blood clot was successfully removed although she is sedated and in critical condition as of yesterday. The boy who was shot is listed in fair condition. And the boy who made the biggest mistake of his life was arrested and, as of yesterday, was being held pending charges. 

Ironically, the school system is talking about either suspending or expelling the boy if he is released from custody. All I can think is: do they really think this is going to teach this young man the lesson they obviously want him to learn from this incident? Because I can’t help but think that suspension or expulsion pale in comparison to what this boy must be going through right now. His live has been forever altered by a tragic lack of reasoning. We may never know why he brought this gun to school with him yesterday, but clearly what occurred was not planned. Who would ever have thought that a gun would go off so easily? And how could he have known when he placed that gun in his backpack that his young life and the lives of two innocent people would never be the same again?