Saugus High School shooting: 1 year later, choir teacher reflects on heroic acts

Two victims, students Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Anne Muehlberger, lost their lives in the shooting.

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Saturday, November 14, 2020
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A Saugus High School teacher reflects nearly a year after a school shooting rattled the school.

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- When Santa Clarita's Saugus High School became the scene of a mass shooting on Nov. 14 of last year, choir teacher Kaitlin Holt was playing music for her class and didn't hear the shots. But students came running in for safety, including a 9th grader who had been injured.

"Locked the doors, told all the kids to get in my office which is another locking door," Holt said in a recent interview with ABC7. "Turned off the lights and barricaded. I told all the kids, 'It's about to be scary for you. I'm so sorry. Everyone take a deep breath. It's probably over. I need to get the gunshot wound kit.' I used the kid to wrap it around her and she was so brave, so strong."

Holt was referring to Saugus High School student Addison Koegle, whom she treated before paramedics arrived.

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Addison Koegle and Kaitlin Holt have maintained a close relationship since the shooting, even though Koegle moved with her family to Texas. Holt said they have a bond that has helped them both heal. Holt said there were many heroes that day and is thankful for her active-shooting training.

"I don't think anyone can be prepared for what happened, but I'm really thankful I had all the training I did so that I didn't go into shock and not do anything," said Holt.

Two students lost their lives in the shooting, Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Anne Muehlberger. Holt said she didn't know them, but feels she does now.

"We'll never forget, but we'll overcome," said Holt. "We'll lay tribute. We'll always commit to being the best because we're happy to be here. We're happy to be alive and we're happy to remember what happened, but keep moving forward."