A 16-year-old boy who killed two students and wounded three others at his southern California high school before turning a gun on himself died on Friday without investigators discovering the motive for the attack.
Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow died from a head wound. His mother was present when he died, according to a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department statement.
Berhow, described by friends as quiet but funny and likeable, showed no outward signs of violence prior to the attack.
After more than 40 interviews, police still do not know what prompted him to commit such a crime, said Captain Kent Wegener of the department’s homicide unit. He said no manifesto, diary or suicide note had been found.
“It still remains a mystery why,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a press conference. He said it was “a planned attack, it was deliberate”, but “we don’t have” the details behind it.
Berhow opened fire at about 7.30am on Thursday, his birthday, after being dropped off at Saugus High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita.
Video surveillance showed Berhow walk alone to the centre of a quad, drop his backpack, pull out the gun and start firing, police said.
Mr Villanueva said after opening fire Berhow “cleared a malfunction” with the gun and kept shooting. He counted his rounds, Mr Villanueva said, firing about six shots and using the last bullet on himself. The attack took just 16 seconds.
“As far as we know the actual targets were at random,” the sheriff said.
Mr Villanueva said the conclusion that the attack was planned was based on Berhow bringing the weapon, ably handling it and keeping track of the rounds fired.