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The teenage boy who killed two classmates and injured three others at a California high school apparently used an unregistered gun to commit his shooting spree, according to L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
Villanueva addressed the press Thursday, telling media that 16-year-old Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow’s .45 calibre semi-automatic pistol was “assembled from gun parts,” meaning the gun did not have a serial number.
Berhow committed the crime on his birthday, Nov. 14, shooting at an open-air quad at Saugus High School, about 40 minutes north of Los Angeles. Berhow fired randomly at groups of people, shooting five people in 16 seconds.
According to witnesses, the gun jammed at one point, but Berhow quickly unjammed it.
Villanueva says Berhow counted his rounds, ensuring that there was one left in the chamber to turn the gun on himself.
Authorities cannot confirm who assembled the weapon, or who purchased the parts to assemble it.
Police say Berhow’s motive remains unknown, despite authorities having searched his home and interviewing 45 people who knew him. Berhow’s parents had “no idea” that their son would commit such a crime. His mother packed him corn dogs, grapes, and homemade cookies for lunch that day.
Police do not believe Berhow has links to any extremist groups or ideologies. Police are working with federal authorities to unlock his cellphone, potentially clarifying some of the questions that still remain.
Police say several unregistered weapons were found in their home.
Berhow’s father, deceased, was a hunter. His father had six registered guns which were all seized in 2016.
Authorities have identified the dead as 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell.