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A 5th grader who shot himself in the head with a pistol earlier this month after being sent home for acting up in class died a day later in a Los Angeles hospital after his parents decided to have him removed from life-support systems.

Two other students at the 49th Street Elementary School in southeast Los Angeles witnessed the shooting.

The incident occurred at 7:30 A.M. as students arrived and were filing into the school building.

The 10-year-old student was searching in his backpack near the school's entrance, according to witnesses, who then heard a gunshot and found the student "lying in a pool of his own blood,'' a school official said.

The boy had been sent home from school the day before the shooting for "disrupting the class'' and had been given a note asking his parents to visit the school to discuss his behavior.

Lemuel Chavis, the principal at the elementary school, said last week that the boy's suicide was "a shock to my whole system.''

But, he added, "It is difficult to fathom how a note like this could create anxiety unless there was something else bothering him in his personal life.''

"I certainly didn't see this coming,'' Mr. Chavis said.

Vol. 13, Issue 31

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