School shooter kills himself in his cell

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- An 18-year-old student who admitted wounding five people at his high school earlier this year committed suicide early Monday, hanging himself in his jail cell.

Jason Hoffman was found dead in his cell at San Diego's Central Jail shortly before 1 a.m., Deputy District Attorney Dan Lamborn said.

Last month, Hoffman pleaded guilty to six felony counts for the March 22 shooting at Granite Hills High School in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon. He was to be sentenced on Nov. 8 and was to serve at least 24 years in prison.

"This was an obviously troubled young man, and it's a sad end to his life," Lamborn said.

Five people were wounded when Hoffman opened fire on the campus in an attack apparently aimed at the school's dean of students. The motivation for the assault was never fully explained, according to Lamborn.

The attack came two weeks after a shooting at a nearby campus, Santana High School in Santee, killed two students and left 13 people wounded. The alleged gunman in that attack was a 15-year-old freshman, Charles "Andy" Williams.

At the time Hoffman entered his plea, his attorney, William Trainor, said his client was "extraordinarily remorseful for what he did."

Hoffman had been held alone in the cell. A deputy discovered him hanging from a vent screen from a torn bed sheet, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Two deputies lowered him and found no pulse. Medical staff and paramedics were unable to revive him.

He was pronounced dead just before 1:30 a.m. at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. An autopsy was planned for Tuesday.

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