We Are #SaugusStrong

A Tribute to Saugus High School and the SCV Community In the Wake of the Recent Tragedy


Alexa Empleo, News Editor

On the morning of Nov. 14, a 16-year-old male student opened fire at 7:38 a.m. on Saugus High School’s campus. Three students were wounded and two were fatally shot. This includes the gunman, who later died from a self-inflicted gunshot injury. Two victims, Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Anne Muehlberger, passed away after being transported to a local hospital. 

The grief is palpable, not only for the families of the victims, but for the entire SCV community as well. Despite this devastating event, each and every one of us SCV residents have found the strength to give out and share our overwhelming love and support for one another. 

In the wake of the shooting, students from all over the district came to Valencia High School on Friday, Nov. 15, not only to support West Ranch’s football team against Long Beach Wilson, but to also show support and connect with one another as a unified district. The entire student section was decked out in #SaugusStrong decorations and spirit wear. Students shook hands, hugged and cheered on West Ranch Players. Because of this, the entire section was dubbed “The District.” Junior quarterback Walker Eget ended that momentous night with a touchdown that pulled out a 57-56 win for not only West Ranch, but for the entire district. 

The next day, West Ranch’s Marching Band and Color Guard competed in the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) Championships wherein they took home their first gold medal in seven years. They dedicated their performance to Saugus, uniting people through their music in an atmosphere of community and love. 

On Sunday, people from all over the Santa Clarita Valley came together at Central Park for a vigil that commemorated the lives of the victims and promoted both the emotional and spiritual healing of all those affected. Even throughout the following week, the district made the point of focusing on mental and emotional health and spread out different activities to help, such as therapy dogs, yoga, meditative tea and conversation about the tragedy. West Ranch also hosted Saugus News Network students for a special WRTV show that uplifted the spirits of both parties. 

Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Anne Muehlberger will forever leave their mark on our hearts and our valley. We will always remember their smiles and their courage, and they serve as an inspiration for all of us to continue a life of kindness and love. Though we are forced to face the harsh realities of violence in schools, we are stronger together as a community now more than ever. May this tragedy continue to invoke a new era of support and collaboration in the Santa Clarita Valley. And as we move forward with our lives, we will forever always be Saugus Strong.