The deaths follow what officials say was a one-man shooting spree that began at 9:20 a.m. Pacific time in a Santana High School restroom. At least two of those wounded were campus supervisors, Sheriff William Kolender said.
Officials from the Santee Fire Department say the latest casualty is a 15-year-old male. Another student was pronounced dead earlier at the scene.
Police say the suspect, identified as a ninth-grader at the school, is in custody and is not among the injured.
Eyewitnesses told news organizations that the suspect started shooting a handgun in a school hallway after loading it in the boys’ restroom. Witnesses said the boy smiled as he opened fire in the hallway, crowded with students changing classes.
Students who say they are friends of the shooter told reporters the boy talked about bringing a gun to school, but they thought he was joking.
Sheriff Kolender told reporters earlier today he knows nothing about reports the gunman discussed the shooting ahead of time.
School officials herded students to a strip mall across the street from Santana High. Parents have flocked to the shopping center to be reunited with their children.
Kolender said police arrived at the scene “within moments” after it was reported.
A student told ABC affiliate KGTV the shooting broke out unexpectedly.
“All I heard was pop pop pop, three or four gunshots went off, and that’s when everybody started running,” he said. “Most of my friends took off.”
Santee is a town of 59,000 residents about 10 miles from San Diego. Santana High has more than 1,900 students in grades 9-12.