Both Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15 and Dominic Blackwell, 14, had recently celebrated their birthdays before losing their lives in the tragic school shooting on Thursday.
On Thursday, authorities released the identities of two students who tragically lost their lives during the Saugus High School shooting. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed that 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15, were the two victims of the school shooting that took place in Santa Clarita, California, according to a report by PEOPLE.
Muehlberger who was loving called "Sweetpea" by her parents had just turned celebrated her 15th birthday last month. Describing her personality as "vivacious, funny, [and] loyal", parents Cynthia and Bryan, who solemnly set up a GoFundMe account to memorialize her brief life said they were experiencing "the most unexplainable brokenness."
"Our vivacious, funny, loyal, light of our lives, Cinderella, the daughter we always dreamed to have, fiercely strong and lover of all things fashionable - was our best friend. She is going to be missed more than words will ever be able to express," wrote her grieving parents.
"We deeply appreciate the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, colleagues, our church and the whole Santa Clarita and national communities. We are grieving and navigating this pain moment by moment," they continued. "Thank you for respecting our privacy at this time."
Blackwell, who had just turned 14 on September 11, was remembered for his "goofy laugh, cheesy smile, and a huge, caring heart," according to a GoFundMe account which was created for the teen.
"On November 14, 2019, this world lost a bright, shining light... personified by a goofy laugh, cheesy smile, and a huge, caring heart He was taken from his family and friends in the most senseless of ways. His three brothers will miss their big brother greatly, and his parents’ dreams for him will never be realized," read the post.
"Dominic’s family needs this time to pull together and mourn this unexpected loss. The family wishes to express appreciation for all of the love and support of the community in the aftermath of this tragic event."
On Thursday at around 7:30 a.m, a student opened fire at Saugus High School, claiming the lives of Muehlberger, Blackwell and injuring three others. Currently, two girls, aged 14 and 15 remain in the hospital and are expected to be discharged soon.
During a press release, Los Angeles County authorities confirmed that the gunman, later identified as 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow, drew a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol from his backpack and began firing at the quad.
PEOPLE reports that Berhow then shot himself in the head and later succumbed to the self-inflicted wounds on Friday. A member of the track team and Boy Scout, Nathan was described as a "good student" by his classmates according to CNN.
Furthermore, they claimed that Nathan who turned 16 on the day of the shooting was "totally normal" in the days before the shooting.
Several classmates of both Blackwell and Muehlberger paid a tribute to the students on social media. Remembering Blackwell as someone who never failed to make "people laugh," his friend Anthony Martinez wrote, Today a lil guy with a big heart lost his life in the Saugus Shooting. He was always smiling making people laugh, always positive, he was the sweetest kid ever and such a good kid. We need more people like you long live dominic blackwell, love you #LLDB #santaclaritashooting. In another tweet, Martinez added, I cant stop thinking about him, I just cant process anything. Not only did I lose my teammate but I lost my brother. This is unreal bro I just wish I can see your huge smile everyday. I love you ugh, peep me and you together in the picture:( #dominicblackwell #saugusstrong
The comment section of Muehlberger’s Instagram picture was flooded with comments memorializing the teenager. One of her close pals wrote: 💙Gracie...my beloved friend, you have no idea how much I missed you. God you were so beautiful, smart, and talented. Everyday my fam and I think of u. You didn’t deserve any of this. We will honor your memory for the rest of our lives. You will truly be missed.
While another expressed: I do know you touched many lives. I’m so sorry for what happened and I wish it didn’t happen.