The stabbing was reported at 10:53 a.m. at the school located on Cedros Avenue, near the intersection of Kester Avenue and Victory Boulevard. Van Nuys is a neighborhood located in the San Fernando Valley about 18 miles northwest of downtown LA.
"This is one of those moments where you hold your breath and once you receive the call and you hope that the initial information is not as revealing or as bad as what actually occurred," Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
"One incident like this one is one incident too many," he added. The LAUSD is the second-largest school district in the nation.
Carvalho went on to explain that around 10:53 a.m., multiple students were involved in a brawl at the quad on campus. During the fight, at least one student produced an unidentified weapon or object and proceeded to stab two students. The two students who were stabbed were taken to local hospitals with injuries that authorities considered non-life-threatening. The LAUSD continues to monitor their conditions.
In addition, two other students sustained injuries as a result of battery. One of which was transported to the hospital. The fourth student was treated at the school with minor injuries.
At least two of the students involved in the brawl were first-year students.
Law enforcement arrived at the campus within three minutes of the initial report. A short time later, three students were detained and questioned by investigators.
Four alerts were sent out to parents informing them what happened; two in English and two in Spanish.
Carvalho clarified a lockdown that went into effect was not due to an imminent threat but rather, in response to the initial incident to stabilize conditions. The lockdown was also implemented to provide law enforcement ample time and space to conduct the investigation.
Lunch was brought to students in their classrooms to prevent students from converging in the cafeteria or the quad.
The campus houses two different schools – Van Nuys High and a continuation school. An estimated 2,200 students are enrolled are the high school and about 200 students are enrolled at the continuation school, amounting to 2,400 students.