December 7, 2019

Santa Clarita’s Jewish Community Responds to Saugus High School Shooting

Saugus High School in Santa Clarita. Photo from Google Maps

Representatives from Santa Clarita synagogues spoke with the Journal Thursday morning following the shooting at Saugus High School that occurred at approximately 7:40 a.m.

Congregation Beth Shalom Synagogue Administrator Robin Ceppi, said the congregation put its preschool community on lockdown after hearing reports of the shooting.

“The minute the public schools [from the William S. Hart District] are on lockdown, we go on lockdown,” she said. She added that one of the congregation’s members attends Saugus High but that student is safe. 

“It’s horrendous,” Ceppi said. “We’re close but not that close. It’s our area in Santa Clarita, but we’re not around the corner. We do have members who live up there. It’s part of our community.”

Temple Beth Ami Office Manager Susie Unkeless told the Journal her home’s backyard overlooks the school. She said her synagogue’s community was safe and she had not heard of anything from the congregation’s families to indicate anyone was involved in the shooting.

Nevertheless, she said, “It’s really scary. It’s too close to home.”

As of noon Thursday, one person has been reported killed, and five people wounded, including the victim. They were transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, among other area hospitals.

The suspected shooter, a 16-year-old boy, is believed to be a student at the school and is currently in custody.

This is an ongoing story and the Journal will provide updates as more details become available.