Father of 12-year-old school shooting suspect denies owning a gun
In this photo, police officers patrol the BP gas station following a shooting death by police Aug.15, 2016, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Getty Images/Darren Hauck

The father of the 12-year-old girl who was detained after a shooting at Salvador Castro Middle School in the Westlake District, Los Angeles, that injured four students, one critically, said Thursday that he did not know that his daughter possessed a gun. He also said that after the incident, he learned that his daughter was bullied at school.

Speaking to a Fox owned-and-operated television station, KTTV-TV, the father said that he was not aware whether the gun was fired by accident. He said that his family doesn’t own a gun, and hence, he had no idea how his daughter managed to get her hands on it.

The unfortunate incident occurred Thursday morning after police responded to a call which said that two students were shot at a school in the 1500 block of West Second Street. One of the injured students was said to be in critical condition from a gunshot wound to his head.

Apart from the 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head, police also found a 15-year-old girl shot in the wrist along with three other students who sustained minor injuries.

Reports stated that the suspect, a 12-year-old, was seen via helicopter footage when she was being apprehended by the authorities. The footage showed a girl with dark hair wearing sweatshirt being led out of the school in handcuffs.

A semiautomatic handgun was recovered from the scene, Los Angeles Times reported.

Authorities spoke to some witnesses at the scene who told them that the gun was fired after someone accidentally played with it. "Someone decided to bring a gun, I guess someone was accidentally playing around with it. They thought it was a fake gun," said Benjamin, a 12-year-old seventh-grader, whose guardian requested the police to keep his identity anonymous.

One of the parents spoke to CBS San Francisco and said that she was worried about her 13-year old son as the authorities did not allow the parents to approach the school after the incident.

“I’m just hoping it has nothing to do with him. I’m just scared for all the kids — school is supposed to be a safe place for them, and apparently it’s not,” Gloria Echeverria said.

Los Angeles police spokesman Josh Rubenstein confirmed that the shooting was ruled out as accidental. He said that the 12-year-old girl they arrested was booked on a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm on school grounds, New York Post reported.

The report also stated that the suspect’s classmate, a 12-year-old boy named Jordan Valenzuela, spoke to her just after the incident.

He said that she kept sobbing and repeating: ‘I didn’t mean it.” Valenzuela also said that the suspect told him that the gun was in her backpack and it accidentally went off when she dropped her bag.

Steve Zipperman, the chief of Los Angeles Unified School District police force, assured parents that the school was provided with all the necessary help required. “We will attend to the needs of these students who witnessed this very carefully, with the understanding this is very traumatic. We have our school mental health folks that are here to support the needs of the students,” Zipperman added.