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Trainer Blames School for His Shooting

FRESNO, Calif. (CN) - Teenagers burglarizing a California high school bludgeoned and shot the school's athletic trainer, who was working after hours, the trainer claims in court.

Steven Guerrero sued Fresno Unified School District and several of its employees, claiming that unlocked facilities and lack of lighting on campus contributed to his injuries - he was shot twice in the body.

According to news reports, the four suspects -identified only as 17- and 16-year-old Norteño gang members - were attempting to rob Edison High School in Fresno during the evening of Dec. 19, 2013.

They entered an unlocked classroom and discovered a custodian and Guerrero, who was working late, the news reports state.

The custodian managed to get away, but the four suspects confronted Guerrero and demanded that he hand over a laptop computer. One of them allegedly hit Guerrero over the head with a 25-pound free weight. Guerrero tried to get one of the suspects' guns, but the suspect shot the teacher two times, according to the contemporary news reports.

Guerrero claims in his lawsuit that defendant Pang Yang, a custodian school, failed to lock the door to the trainer's room that evening. He claims that Yang "carelessly increased the probability of criminal intrusion by unlocking and leaving the door in a wide-open position when he entered the trainer's room which proximately caused the assault and battery upon Steven Guerrero."

Guerrero also blames poor lighting on campus. He claims the school district did not repair and maintain outdoor lighting, despite the well-known regular use of the campus after dark by students, families, teachers and sports coaches.

The suspects were "emboldened by the lack of outdoor lighting" and were able to go onto campus with guns without being detected, Guerrero says in the complaint.

After he was bludgeoned and shot, Guerrero says, defendant school Superintendent Michael Hanson was allowed to see Guerrero before Guerrero's wife was.

He claims that Hanson told his wife, Isabelle, "that he had bad news to tell her about her husband, and then proceeded to refer to Steven Guerrero as a 'knucklehead' for defending himself and his and the defendant Fresno Unified School District's property," causing Isabelle to suffer "mortification and severe emotional distress," the complaint states.

The Guerreros seek punitive damages for negligence, premises liability and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

They are represented by Stephen Smith.

The four suspects were arrested several days after the incident. The shooter allegedly was a student at the high school.

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