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UPDATED: Teenager with gun removed from bus

Deputies confiscate 45-caliber pistol

Posted: October 2, 2008 10:27 a.m.
Updated: December 3, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A sheriff's deputy examines the loaded weapon found on a 17-year-old girl Thursday morning while she was on a city bus.

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UPDATED 10 p.m.

Sheriff’s deputies took a 17-year-old Saugus girl into custody Thursday after she boarded a Santa Clarita city bus armed with a loaded 45-caliber pistol.

The teenager sent a text message to a friend at a local high school stating she had a gun and was going to kill herself, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Darren Harris.

Shortly after 10 a.m., deputies received a phone call from the friend who was worried the girl might be suicidal but did not know where she was, Harris said. 

After contacting the friend, deputies were able to obtain the name of the teenager and immediately sent additional deputies to her house, where they were able to contact a family member, according to a Sheriff’s Department press release.

The family member helped contact the teen on her cell phone as she rode on city bus No. 175, headed west on Soledad Canyon Road on bus Route 6, Harris said. 

“Working quickly and in direct cooperation with the city of Santa Clarita Transit Division, deputies were able to identify the bus and line the teenager was on and were able to locate the bus,” said Harris.

Deputies tipped off the bus driver about a possible gun on board and the driver feigned mechanical problems and stopped the bus at Soledad Canyon Road and Golden Oak Avenue.

After all the other passengers disembarked, deputies took the cooperative girl into custody.

She handed over the gun and was taken off the bus without incident, said Harris. 

Deputies placed the teen wearing a black-and-white striped shirt and white shorts in the sheriff’s vehicle.

Deputies drove their vehicles and the teen over to the Santa Clarita Lanes parking lot, the bowling alley on Soledad, to discuss the details of the incident with each other before taking the girl into custody.

Deputies also contacted the girl’s father at work, and he arrived on the scene in his red 7-11 work shirt and jeans before his daughter was taken in for questioning.

The teen is now at a medical facility for treatment and evaluation. “The deputy’s first concern is that the troubled teenager receive the help that she needs, however, a criminal report will be processed for unlawful possession of the loaded handgun,” the Sheriff’s press release said.

Her identity was not released because she is a juvenile. “She initially left the house this morning to go to school, but obviously she never made it there,” said Harris. “We do not know where she was planning on going.”

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