The 16-year-old boy who opened fire at Saugus High School used an unregistered “kit gun” or “ghost gun” that he assembled from parts without serial numbers. This makes the gun untraceable and it is much harder to intercept from the standpoint of law enforcement.
The act of senseless violence by the shooter resulted in the deaths of two classmates and the injury of three others. After his deadly rampage, the shooter turned the gun on himself. However, the self-inflicted gunshot wound didn’t kill him immediately: he was taken to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his wounds with his mother at his bedside.
The day of the shooting happened on the perpetrator’s 16th birthday. According to classmates, he was a quiet, reserved child who didn’t seem like the type of senselessly gun down his peers. However, people close to him have claimed that, since his father passed away two years ago, his mood and disposition had darkened considerably.
“In 16 seconds he cleared a malfunction and was able to shoot five people and himself, so he seemed very familiar with the weapon,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Friday. “It wasn’t a spur of the moment act.” The murderer had excellent knowledge of how to operate the weapon, how many rounds were in it and how long it would take him to make his shots.
Officials have found no motive, no suicide note and no manifesto in connection with the killings. At this time of this writing, the shooter does not appear to have had any connection to specific ideologies or some purpose behind the killings. Teachers and classmates all described him as quiet, a good student and a diligent athlete.
The sixteen-year-old shooter would not have been legally allowed to purchase a firearm in California, where you have to be 21 to legally acquire a firearm. Instead, he assembled the gun from its various components. Kit guns, as they’re also known, can be purchased from online vendors or at gun shows.
The “kit guns” sidestep the law by being sold in smaller components that are legal to sell. After purchase, the end user assembles all the parts into a functioning firearm. And, in this case, a capable murder weapon.