msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 1/22/2011 3:54:56 AM ET 2011-01-22T08:54:56

A 15-year-old boy who was shot in the neck at an L.A. high school has called for more security to protect students and spoken of his fears he would die in a television interview.

Trendell Gholar told CBS 2 anchor Pat Harvey Friday evening that he initially thought there had been an earthquake or a bomb had gone off when he was shot Tuesday at Gardena High School.

His mother, Anita, planned to file a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District, the station said.

The bullet missed major nerves, arteries and his spine, a doctor said. It then hit a girl, also 15, in the head, although it did not penetrate her brain. The latest news reports said she was in critical condition.

Gholar was released from the hospital Wednesday to recover at home.

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He told CBS that he did not realize he had been shot at first.

"I just felt tremendous pain in my back. And then I felt all this blood," Gholar said. "I didn't know what to think. I heard a loud boom and I saw smoke. I thought it could have been a bomb, or an earthquake. All I knew I was down and there was a lot of blood."

As he waited for the ambulance, he said he felt sure he was going to die, saying his heart was "beating so fast."

School officials have said students are randomly scanned for weapons, but Gholar said more security was needed.

Teen charged with discharging gun
A 17-year-old boy was charged Thursday with smuggling a gun onto the high school's campus and also with discharging the weapon.

Los Angeles County prosecutors asked a court to try the 17-year-old suspect as an adult.

The teen, whose name was not released because of his age, could face up to nine months in a detention camp if convicted as a juvenile, and up to seven years in state prison if he is found guilty as an adult, county district attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison said.

Prosecutors said the teenager was on probation for a misdemeanor battery charge when he carried a loaded 9 mm Beretta semiautomatic handgun in his backpack to the school. 

"When he allegedly reached inside the backpack to get something to eat, the gun discharged a single bullet," according to a prosecution statement.

Earlier police reports had said the gun went off when the boy dropped the backpack on his desk.

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Authorities said that after the shooting, the 17-year-old fled the classroom and gave the backpack to a 15-year-old girl, and got different clothes from a 16-year-old boy.

Both of those students were arrested on suspicion of helping the boy escape, but Robison said prosecutors have declined to file charges because of insufficient evidence.

In a separate incident, a school police officer was shot and wounded Wednesday outside El Camino Real High School in west San Fernando Valley.

Officer Jeff Stenroos was struck in the chest by a bullet when he confronted a man breaking into cars but his body armor stopped the round, authorities said. The shooter was still being sought by police.

Also Wednesday, a 16-year-old boy was shot in a restaurant parking lot near his high school in the Los Angeles suburb of Bell, authorities said.

A shot fired from a pickup truck hit the Bell High School student in the abdomen, but his vital signs were good when he was taken to a hospital, Bell police Captain Anthony Miranda said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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