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/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Police Identify Suspect in High School Shooting

May 19, 1999

PACIFIC PALISADES — Los Angeles police on Tuesday identified the man who allegedly shot a Palisades High School student and football coach Monday as Sheldon Pearce, 20, of Los Angeles.

He is expected to be charged Wednesday in the shooting of 18-year-old Vontray Gardner and coach Ron Price, 62, after an apparent fight just before school let out Monday, police said.

Pearce and three other suspects, two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old, were arrested shortly after the 2:30 p.m. attack at the campus after a brief police chase that ended near Robertson Boulevard and the Santa Monica Freeway. The juveniles, two of whom attend Palisades High, will be charged in the shooting by the end of the week, police said.

Gardner and Price suffered minor leg injuries in the shooting and were treated at and released from Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.

On Tuesday, the mood on the campus, which is less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean, was one of uneasy calm. The 2,500-student Palisades High has consistently ranked among the safest campuses in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Principal Linda Hosford said.

"We are normally a quiet, safe campus," she said. "But I suppose we have to realize these things can happen at any time."

Hosford launched all-day crisis counseling sessions for those traumatized by Monday's violence. But by lunchtime, only 12 had shown up for counseling.

The school is also reconsidering a once-dismissed idea to place fences around the now-open campus.

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