‘It was a planned attack’: Santa Clarita school shooter was ‘familiar’ with the weapon he used to gun down five classmates before shooting himself in the head

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office gave a press conference on Friday afternoon, in which they acknowledge that the Saugus High School shooting suspect likely planed the attack, but said they did not have any solid theories on a possible motive.

Authorities said on Friday in a press conference that was live-streamed on numerous platforms that Nathaniel Berhow remained in critical condition from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Berhow shot five other students at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita early Thursday morning before he turned the gun on himself.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told reporters that the student, who turned 16 on Thursday, appears to have planned the mass shooting, although investigators have not found any relationship between the suspect and the victims that would suggest a motive or a specific target.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, officials obtained a video recording of the shooting and examined it as part of the investigation. It is unclear who captured the video.

“It was a planned attack,” Villanueva said, noting that Berhow appeared to be “familiar” with the weapon, knew how many rounds were in his gun, and likely brought the firearm to the school with the intent of using it.

“It wasn’t a spur-of-the moment act,” Villanueva said.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Berhow’s father, who died in December 2017, is believed to have been a recreational hunter, and sources told local media outlets that he owned and worked on firearms. But the sheriff said that all weapons registered to the suspect’s father had been accounted for, and were not used in the shooting.

The sheriff also noted that investigators found unregistered firearms in Berhow’s home, and that they were working to determine how Berhow obtained the gun he used to kill two students and injure three more.

Law enforcement officials also said at the press conference that the suspect did not appear to have been working on behalf of any particular ideology.

“We did not find any manifesto, any diary that spelled it out, any suicide note, or any writings that will clearly identify his motives behind this assault,” Capt. Kent Wegener said at the press conference, according to the New York Times.

Authorities also identified one of the deceased victims of the shooting as 15-year-old girl, Gracie Anne Muehlberger.

According to CNN, two teen girls who were among the victims are expected to recover and will likely be discharged from the hospital in the next day or two.

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[Feature image; AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu]