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Student Shoots Self During Class

January 15, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A youth depressed at being rebuffed by a girl called out the name ″Maria,″ then shot himself in the head during a high school English class, officials and students said.

The condition of Oscar E. Marquez, 18, a Los Angeles High School student, was so critical after the shooting Wednesday that doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center planned no treatment, said hospital spokesman Ron Wise.

Marquez, a Salvadoran emigre described by classmates as a loner, shot himself in an 11th-grade class designed for non-English-speaking students, said police Detective Frank Bolan.

Freddie Palacios, 17, said Marquez had told several people, including a cousin, that he was prepared to kill himself over a girl. Palacios said the reaction had been disbelief and laughter.

″He wanted to be this girl’s boyfriend,″ said Juan Sanchez, 17. ″She didn’t want him.″

Bolan said classmates didn’t think Marquez’ gun was real. ″They didn’t know if he was clowning around. He kept moving the gun to his right temple.″

Bolan said Marquez called out a girl’s name as he held the .22-caliber gun to his head. Several students said the name was ″Maria.″

A school district psychological crisis team went to Los Angeles High to offer assistance to its 3,100 students.

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