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  2 Dead at Santana High School, 13 others injured


Santee, California

Monday March 5, 2001


Let's Stop the violence! 

See how KEYS can help!!

Santee, California  -- A ninth grade student described as "...a kid that was picked on a lot..." killed two fellow students and wounded at least 13 others at Santana High School.   "School Shooting Map"

A distraught mother tries to locate her children at Santana High School after a shooting there took the lives of 2 students, wounded 13 others and brought chaos to the campus and community.

SANTEE  - March 5, 2001, Santee, California. A ninth grade student described as "...a kid that was picked on a lot...(see Bullying training, articles and FREE Handouts)" killed two fellow students and wounded at least 13 others at Santana High School. Two of the victims apparently were a Santana High School security guard and a counselor, according to KGTV. The extent of their injuries was not known. University of California, San Diego, Medical Center confirmed one victim had been brought in for treatment, and another was possibly on the way. Children's Hospital said it expected to receive victims from the incident. Students were evacuated to parking lots and nearby businesses (see Developing Crisis Plans). A SWAT team was called in to assess and clear the scene. A suspect, a student, is in custody.

One Santana student told KGTV the suspect was smiling as he fired shots from the boys restroom. "When he came back out of the bathroom, he was smiling. He was looking around and smiling with his weapon. And he fired two more shots and went back in," said John Sharp, a student. At least three students have reported that the shooter told them that he was going to do this (See Early Warning Sign Assessment Training ).  One student spent the weekend with the shooter and heard him talk about the shooting but did not believe he would do it. Another student reported that she was afraid something like this was going to happen for a long time because of the racial tension (See School Violence Readiness Training)

Chaos ensued during and after the shooting as students were first told to run or get into the hallways then later told to go their classrooms. Local businesses and churches were pressed into service to handle students and parents, but as one parent reported, "They just don't have a system to handle this." The local television station periodically broadcast student names, instructing them where to meet their parents as parents would contact station personnel for help.

Santana High School has 1,900 students in grades 9 through 12.(See the Lock Out Violence Everyday Campaign - A community violence prevention program).


Those killed were a 14-year-old and 15-year-old student. The wounded students ranged in age from 14 to 18.

The conditions of the wounded students have not been released. The two adult shooting victims were identified as a student teacher and a young security supervisor at the school. The security supervisor was identified by a relative as Peter Ruiz. The relative said that Ruiz had been shot five times, but he is expected to recover from his wounds


  • To Learn How "Keys To Safer Schools" Can Help.
  • Learning what to look for - "Early Warning Signs"
  • Map of School Shootings
  • Learn about National Reports on Violence
  • Reported By:
    Mike Nelson
    Keys To Safer Schools

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