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5 Wounded in School Shooting Latest Violence Follows Shooting In Neighboring Town

By Jeff Adler and William Booth
THE WASHINGTON POST -- el cajon, calif.

For the second time this month, a teen-ager took a gun to a high school in the suburbs east of San Diego and opened fire Thursday -- this time wounding four others before he was shot in a brief but intense firefight with a police officer.

Five other people were injured by falls and flying glass in the rampage at Granite Hills High School, according to police and paramedics.

Police identified the suspect as 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, a senior. They said he arrived at the school shortly before 1 p.m. with a handgun and what witnesses described as a shotgun, crouched into a sniper position and opened fire near the administration building of the 2,900-student school. He reloaded one of his weapons at least once, witnesses said

El Cajon Police Capt. Bill McClurg said the gunman then engaged in a “running gun battle” with an El Cajon police officer who was assigned to a security detail at the school and responded to the gunfire almost immediately.

Hoffman was shot and wounded by the police officer during the exchange. He was taken to an area hospital with wounds to his jaw and buttocks, and listed in serious condition.

Three students and a female teacher were also wounded by gunfire, and were sent to local hospitals with shotgun pellet wounds. Their injuries were not life-threatening, authorities said.

The alleged gunman, seen briefly on television images as he was taken by stretcher into an ambulance, was heavy set with dark, shaved hair. His face was bleeding from wounds. McClurg said that police “have no motive, no statements” from the suspect.

There was an eerie sense of replay to the day’s events, which unfolded just a few miles away from Santana High School, where two students were killed and 13 others injured when a student opened fire there March 5. The dead from Santana High, located in the neighboring town of Santee, were buried just 10 days ago.

Counselors, who are still working with students from nearby Santana High, will begin working with Granite Hills students here Friday. The two high schools are in the same school district.