A shotgun-wielding high school student shot and wounded three students and two teachers Thursday before he was wounded in a gunbattle with a campus officer, police said.The shooting at Granite Hills High School came less than three weeks after two students were killed at Santana High School in nearby Santee.The suspect, Jason Hoffman, an 18-year-old student, was hospitalized with wounds in the jaw and buttocks, police Capt. Bill McClurg said.Prosecutors were considering a range of charges from assault to attempted murder, said San Diego County District Attorney Paul Pfingst. He said arraignment would be delayed because of Hoffman's wounds.Hoffman was armed with weapons from his home, Pfingst said, but he would not provide any information on his family or living situation.Several students described Hoffman as large and intimidating, a muscular loner with few friends who seemed to be angry at the world."He had this hate-the-world walk," Sean Connacher, 18, a senior at Granite Hills High told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "This is a kid who didn't get picked on very often because most of the kids were afraid of him."Hoffman was brought down in a gunbattle with a campus police officer, Richard Agundez, who heard gunfire shortly after students returned to classes from lunch and ran to confront the shooter, McClurg said."All of a sudden we heard shots and glass breaking," said William Ditzler, 16, who was in the school's main office when loud voices drew his attention and he saw the gunman through a window. "Then all of a sudden the office door's windows were shot out."Ditzler threw himself to the ground, injuring his neck."I was under the desk, holding on to it very tight," he said. "I was just praying that he wouldn't walk through the door, and then the police officer got him."The motive for the attack was not known. Police said the attacker was armed with a Mossberg 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and a .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun. Investigators did not immediately know if both weapons were fired.Shotgun pellet wounds suffered by three students and the teachers were not life-threatening, hospital and police officials said.Three other students were treated for anxiety or minor injuries suffered in the scramble to flee. A 51-year-old man, who had chest pains while running to the scene to find his child, was in critical condition at Grossmont Hospital. Police also said a pregnant woman rushing to the campus went into labor."There were no warning signs," said senior Travis Peters, who didn't see Hoffman in the fourth-period algebra class they both take. "He wasn't an outcast, no one made fun of him. … As far as I know, he was like every other kid."Jiovani Guerrero, a junior who went to Granite Hills with Hoffman last year and now attends a different school, said Hoffman may have been upset about not getting enough credits to graduate this spring."He was supposed to graduate this spring, but that wasn't going to happen, Guerrero said.Still another student, Tramaine Cooper, described Hoffman as "high-strung" but also organized and very serious about his school work.The shooting at Granite Hills occurred the day after someone sprayed graffiti on a sidewalk at nearby Cajon Valley Middle School, threatening a shooting there at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a statement from the Grossmont Union High School District. The board said police were investigating that threat at the time of the Granite Hills shooting.McClurg said he knew nothing about threatening graffiti near the middle school, but Ditzler said Granite Hills High had been rife with rumors about more violence since the Santana shootings."We've been having graffitis all over our gym saying, 'You guys are next,"' Ditzler said.Officers scrambled across the campus and ambulances converged on the scene as many of the 2,900 students fled to a nearby park. Officials later decided to cancel classes until Monday, but said students would be allowed to come back to campus Friday afternoon to pick up belongings.The violence sent a new jolt of fear through communities still shaken by the March 5 rampage seven miles away at Santana High, where a 15-year-old student allegedly killed two classmates and injured 13 others. Both schools are in the same district east of San Diego.News of the shooting stunned students at Santana High."I couldn't believe it was happening already," said Aaron Novotny, a freshman. "I think everyone was kind of in shock because it happened again.""This is a nightmare," said Glorianne Pollock, mother of a Granite Hills junior. "As a parent, I'm worried to send my kids to school. I just want to lock him in a room and keep him there. This wasn't as bad as Santana, but it could have been.""After Santana, I thought people would actually learn never to bring a gun to school," said Granite Hills sophomore Cristina Flores, 16. "If you hate school, it doesn't mean you have to bring a gun. It's just wrong. I feel scared going to school."Neither the officer nor a sheriff's deputy who helped take the gunman into custody were injured. Principal Georgette Torres declared Agundez "the hero of the day."The suspect was taken to surgery at Sharp Memorial Hospital, said spokeswoman Eileen Cornish.Pellet wounds were suffered by two boys, a girl and two female teachers.Social sciences teacher Fran Zumwalt, 47, later walked out of Scripps Mercy Hospital and told reporters she was doing "fine."Shaundra Hughes, 17, grazed in the right leg, and Toby Haltstead, 15, shot in an arm and leg, were both treated and released from Scripps.Andy Yafuso, 15, was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital with pellet wounds to his chest, arm and head. Dr. Frank Kennedy said he would be hospitalized through Friday or Saturday.Special education teacher Priscilla Murphy, 53, was treated for pellet wounds to her legs and an arm and was released from University of California, San Diego, Medical Center."We thank God that no one was killed in this incident," Police Chief James Davis said.Junior Chris Wesley said the gunman fired at least eight shots and reloaded his weapon during the shooting."It just seemed like he was planning on doing it," Wesley said.Ryan Carrillo, a sophomore, told KGTV that he heard gunshots as he walked to a bathroom near the school office."It sounded like an explosion, like in a chemistry class or something," he said of the first two shots he heard. After hearing five more shots, he ran out of the school.Junior Roger Pollock, 16, was in math class taking a test when he heard a rapid succession of about six shots being fired."I heard my teacher say, 'Is that a skateboard?' I said 'Nope, that's not a skateboard. That's for real,"' he said.He said he looked outside the window and saw a young man with blood on his face. Everyone in the class then ducked. The students stayed in the room for 20 minutes, until police escorted them out.Red Cross spokesman Mickey Stonier, who had also been at Santee, went to El Cajon to help reunite parents and kids."This is like pulling a scab off a fresh wound," Stonier told CNN. "The community is responding very well."Reaction from California leaders to the state's second school shooting in less than a month was swift.In Los Angeles, Gov. Gray Davis condemned the shooting and said everyone needed to be more aware of signs of trouble among youth."Basically, we need to be better listeners," Davis said. "We have to hear the signs of alarm or alienation or loneliness from kids and be able to take them aside and make them feel part of the community so these terrible incidents don't keep happening."U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer dashed off a letter to President Bush demanding federal action."How long is it going to take before the federal government addresses this issue? How many more school shootings must there be?" she wrote.
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