The deceased father of a 16-year-old boy who shot his classmates at a high school in California was a hunter who owned several weapons and was once arrested on suspicion of abusing his wife.
Nathaniel Berhow was identified as the suspect after the fatal shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles from Los Angeles, on Thursday morning.
Authorities say he killed two students and wounded another three before he shot himself in the head. He survived and is currently in a serious hospital.
As the authorities continue to investigate and try to determine a motive, details about the suspect and his family have begun to appear – including how there were signs of problems at home.
Berhow's father, Mark Berhow, died of a heart attack in December 2017, according to an online death notice.
Mark Berhow, the deceased father of 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow, who shot his classmates at a high school in California on Thursday, was a hunter with various weapons and was once arrested on suspicion of abusing his wife
While the authorities continue the investigation and try to determine a motive, details about the suspect and his family have emerged. Berhow is depicted as a child with his father Mark, mother Mami and his sister
The older Berhow, who worked as an engineer for a healthcare company, was an avid hunter and is believed to have had multiple weapons.
His death announcement described his love for & # 39; big game hunting and fishing of all kinds & # 39 ;.
According to the records of the Department of Los Angeles County Sheriff published in a local newspaper, Berhow's father was arrested in June 2015 on suspicion of attempted battery on his wife Mami Matasuura.
The office of the public prosecutor refused to lodge charges at the time because of insufficient evidence.
Online records also showed that Berhow's mother and in August 2016 filed divorce proceedings against her husband and applied for custody of the children.
Authorities questioned the teenager's mother on Thursday as they searched for an explanation for the shooting.
A childhood friend of Berhow is speculated in a KTLA interview that the death of the teen's father two years ago could have caused the rampage.
The friend claimed that Berhow's father drank heavily and also made his own bullets.
Asked if there were any weapons in the house of Berhow, the friend said: & # 39; His father made bullets, so I assume he had bullets and the like. & # 39;
Neighbors claimed that Berhow's father had a passion for weapons, but it is not clear whether the teenager had access to weapons.
Berhow's father, Mark Berhow, died of a heart attack in December 2017, according to an online death notice. The obit included several photos of him hunting as an adult and a teenager
According to records from the Department of Sheriff & # 39; s in Los Angeles County, published in a local newspaper, Berhow's father was arrested in June 2015 on suspicion of attempted battery on his wife Mami. Together they are depicted as a family in an undated photo
Jared Axen, who lives next to the family, said that Berhow went hunting with his father and that firearms were not a mystery to him.
& # 39; He grew up with his father who was a hunter, and this was a normal activity for him, & # 39; said Axen.
& # 39; He grew up around firearms, it was no mystery, he knew how to use it and understood how it worked, he was responsible. He emerged as a very responsible person. & # 39;
It comes as people who knew that the suspect described him as a quiet, smart child that they would never expect to break violently.
A fellow junior at the Saugus High School said he was a boy scout she relied on to study for an advanced placement in European history.
A neighbor who knew the boy when they were growing up, said he kept himself to himself but was never threatening.
& # 39; A quiet, self-contained child, & # 39; said Ryan McCracken, a neighbor who would play a few years older with the growing boy, also in a treehouse in the backyard.
& # 39; You wouldn't expect anything like that from him. & # 39;
SWAT officers entered the home of the suspect in Santa Clarita, California, near the Saugus High School, where a massive shooting took place this morning, killing two students
This photo of video provided by KTLA-TV shows law enforcement personnel outside a house on Sycamore Creek Drive while hunting for the suspected school shooter
Brooke Risley, a junior at Saugus High, said she already knew the boy from elementary school and saw him in engineering class on Wednesday. They were linked to technical projects during the past school year and he came to her house to work on it.
On Thursday she could not remember anything that indicated that he was violent. The closest she could get was a key ring he had with a hollow bullet.
& # 39; We are all wondering, & # 39; said Risley, & # 39; what was the motive? & # 39;
Risley described the boy as somewhat introverted, although open to his close friends and & # 39; naturally smart & # 39 ;.
She said he was not bullied, had a girlfriend, and had been an active member of a local Boy Scout gang.
Results of school track posted online last spring show that he was an unusual medium and long distance runner. His GPA brought him to the honors list during the eighth grade, according to the online school records, although he did not appear on the published honors list last year.
Joe Fitzpatrick, a senior who helped the boy's physics teacher, called him a & # 39; good, quiet child & # 39; did not miss those assignments and performed well on tests.
& # 39; He just seemed like one of those ordinary kids, & # 39; said Fitzpatrick.
Many students were in tears or on the phone with their loved ones when they were evacuated from the Saugus High School evacuation Thursday morning after the shooting
People are being taken out of the Saugus High School on Thursday after the suspect opened fire, killed two students and injured three others
A police officer keeps watch while students wait to reunite with their parents after the shooting
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