GLENDALE–A 15-year old Armenian boy was shot and critically wounded during a fight outside Herbert Hoover High School late Thursday afternoon–police said–as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Although there were over 50 students on campus at the time of the shooting–there were no other injuries–police told the Times.
According to Sgt. Rick Young of the Glendale Police Department–the shooting occured on a nearby street when one of the youths pulled a firearm out of his car after what began as a fistfight between two Armenian gangs in the faculty parking lot–the Times reported.
The boy–identified by police as Avetis "Avo" Demerchyan–a Hoover High junior–was hit in the stomach and transported to Los Angeles Country USC Medical Center–where he underwent surgery and was listed in critical condition Thursday night–the Times said.
Several Hoover High boys got into an argument with Avetis during lunch and ordered him to meet them after school "to talk," said police.
The shooting cam only a week after classes started at the high school and a day after students attended a lengthey orientation on school rules and regulations concerning everything from campus drug and alcohol bans to gun prohibitions.
Hoover High School had recently joined a growing number of Los Angeles County campuses employing metal detectors and random locker checks to control youth violence–said Co-Principal Kevin E. Welsh.
Authorities said the fight began in the faculty parking lot south of the tennis courts and spilled onto School Street. One boy had a black eye–and another ran to a red Astro van–pulled out a gun and started firing from the window–police said.
Avetis’ friends loaded him into their car and were driving on Glenoaks Boulevard to Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center when a motorcycle officer flagged them down for speeding and called paramedics–authorities said.
Glendale Police spokesman Chahe Keuroghelian said police have detained several witnesses–including the occupants of a minivan and BMW "who may turn out to be suspects." Investigators were interrogating several youths late Thursday.