The 16-year-old California boy who shot five classmates, killing two, at Saugus High School last week used an unregistered ‘ghost gun,’ it was revealed this morning.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow’s .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol was a ‘kit gun,’ also known as a ‘ghost gun,’ which was assembled from parts and lacked a serial number.
Berhow pulled the gun from his backpack on the morning of November 14 – his birthday – in an open-air quad at Saugus High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita and in 16 seconds shot five students at random.
At one point, the gun jammed but he quickly cleared it and continued shooting.
Berhow counted his rounds, Villanueva has said, saving the last bullet for himself.
Saugus high students Katie Thanaet and Tyler Wilson look over items left at a memorial in front of the school Tuesday
The shooting took the lives of 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell.
Berhow shot himself in the head and died the following dead at the hospital.
Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean of the homicide bureau said in a statement that authorities do not know who assembled the ‘kit gun’ or bought its components.
The sheriff said Berhow’s motive remains a mystery, even after investigators searched his home and interviewed 45 people.
Berhow’s mother – who packed him corn dogs, grapes and homemade cookies for lunch that morning – had no idea what was coming, Villanueva said.
Authorities said Berhow had shown no signs of violence and didn’t appear to be linked to any ideology or terrorist group.
The sheriff’s department is working with federal authorities to unlock Berhow’s cellphone, Villanueva said.
Berhow’s father (left and right) was an avid hunter who died two years ago. He made his own bullets and had six registered guns in the family’s home but they were seized in 2016
Berhow’s father was an avid hunter who died two years ago. He made his own bullets and had six registered guns in the family’s home but they were seized in 2016.
Officials found several unregistered firearms in the home after the shooting and are working to determine where those and the weapon used at the high school came from.