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Saugus High School Shooter Dead; Motive Still Unknown For Honor Student, Track Athlete

SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — Nathan Berhow, the 16-year-old student suspected of killing two of his classmates at Saugus High School, succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead Friday afternoon, according to officials.

Berhow was on the honor roll and track team at Saugus High School, grew up as a Boy Scout, and had a girlfriend – so his motive in the deadly shooting at Saugus High School is a mystery to all who knew him.

He died shortly after 3:30 p.m. Friday, according to the sheriff's department.

The 16-year-old Saugus High School student was identified by CBS News as the gunman in the shooting that killed a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. Berhow succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead Friday afternoon, according to officials.

A motive is still not known for the shooting and Berhow, who had a girlfriend and was active in school life, does not seem to fit the stereotypical profile of a school shooter – depressed and angry at the world.

Jared Axen, the family's next door neighbor, said he would never have imagined this would happen, much less involving Berhow.

"He always seemed to have people around him in his life who really loved him," Axen said. "I think he forgot that."

Axen said he had held Berhow as a baby, taught him chess when he was in middle school, and considered him to be a younger brother. However, Axen said Berhow did struggle with the death of his father, who passed away of heart failure a couple of years ago. Berhow's father had been an avid hunter who struggled with alcohol for years and was arrested in 2015 on suspicion of attempted battery on his wife.

The family's home was searched by sheriff's investigators and agents from the FBI and ATF in the hours following the shooting. Some neighbors said they never saw Nathan and his family out and about, describing them as "like ghosts," but Axen said they were simply "quiet and respectful" and Berhow often had friends coming by to pick him up or drop him off.

"Sometimes the families can be demonized with these things," Axen said. "They're good people."

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