NEW BEGINNING ENDS IN TRAGEDY; SLAIN STUDENT HAD REDEDICATED SELF TO SCHOOL, ARMY.
Byline: Yvette Cabrera, Nick P. Divito and Bhavna Mistry
Aaron Bruce Nathaniel transferred to Chatsworth High School one month ago to escape what his parents called ``negative elements'' and to get his life back on track.
Nathaniel, 18, was making new friends, taking four classes on his way to graduation and a stint in the Army.
But on Tuesday, he was shot dead after a fight in a fast-food restaurant where he was applying for a job. Police have arrested Jason Jones Jason Jones is the name of:
Jones is a former Desert Winds and Lancaster high school Lancaster High School may refer to:
Armed with a search warrant, police Wednesday found a handgun and ammunition in an apartment at the complex where the suspect fled after the shooting.
Nathaniel was trying to escape just this kind of trouble, his parents said Wednesday.
``We're angry at the way things turned out,'' said the boy's father, John Nathaniel, 54, from the family's Altadena home.
``He was looking forward to graduating in June,'' said his mother, Barbara.
``As soon as he got his diploma he was supposed to go into the military. . . . That's what he was going to do because he thought it was a good move for him and his country.''
Just this Monday, he signed up for the Army's delayed-entry program, his parents said.
``He was very excited. He scored well on the tests and was looking forward to getting his life together,'' his mother said.
``He was so highly motivated and was just charging ahead to do this,'' she said.
``We're totally devastated dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. - it's such a tragedy. He was a great kid trying to get his life together.''
The boy had transferred from Pasadena and La Salle high schools La Salle High School is the name of several educational institutions affiliated with the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, also known as the Lasallian Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious teaching order founded by French Priest Saint Jean-Baptiste de la Salle:
``He woke up and saw the need for an education and he was moving forward and pushing,'' his mother said. ``He's never been arrested. He's been trying to stay out of trouble.''
Nathaniel joined Pop Warner Pop Warner refers to
Several shelves of a trophy case in the family's home showcase Nathaniel's love for the sport: football trophies, plaques and pictures of him in uniform.
``Athletics were important in (Nathaniel's) life,'' said Lew Stueck, football coach at La Salle, a private school Nathaniel attended for ninth and 10th grades.
Assistant Principal John Ring recalled the boy as a friendly and popular student who was not a disciplinary problem.
``He was just one of those kids you couldn't help but like,'' said Ring. ``You're always shocked when you hear something like this, especially when it's somebody you know.
``The classroom was a struggle for him, but on the field he could shine,'' said Ring, who was athletic director Athletic director (commonly, "athletics director") is a position at many American colleges and universities, as well as in larger high schools and middle schools, which oversees the work of the coaches and related staff involved in intercollegiate or interscholastic athletic at the time.
Nathaniel transferred to Pasadena High School because of academic reasons, Stueck said.
At the time of his death, Nathaniel was living in a Winnetka group home that he entered on his own, his mother said.
At Chatsworth High, Principal Dan Wyatt said the youth had completed 20 days of school and was taking four classes to obtain his diploma.
The suspect was arrested Tuesday night following a two-hour search of several apartment complexes across the street from the restaurant at the corner of De Soto de So·to , Hernando or Fernando 1496?-1542.
Spanish explorer who landed in Florida in 1539 with 600 men and set out to search for the fabled riches of the north. Avenue and Lassen Street.
``He's the subject of a current warrant,'' said Janice Jones, a Los Angeles County probation officer probation officer
1. An official usually attached to a juvenile court and charged with the care of juvenile delinquents.
2. An official charged with supervising convicts at large on suspended sentence or probation. who works out of the Sheriff's Department's gang detail office in the Lancaster station.
When arrested, Jones initially identified himself as Jason Jacobs, which is the name of Lancaster High School's varsity football quarterback.
Jones had identified himself as a Lancaster High School student in registering at Antelope Valley College Antelope Valley College is a comprehensive community college located in Lancaster, California, USA. It is operated by the Antelope Valley Community College District, with a primary service area of 1,945 square miles covering portions of Los Angeles and Kern counties. for two summer 1997 classes - weightlifting and an independent-living class for youths in foster homes.
Lancaster High officials wouldn't comment. Antelope Valley Union High School District The Antelope Valley Union High School District (A.V.U.H.S.D.) is located in the Antelope Valley area of California, in northern Los Angeles County.
The district includes eight public high schools, one trade school, and two continuation high schools in the cities of Palmdale officials said their records show Jones had been a student between November 1997 and January 1998 at Desert Winds High School.
At Chatsworth High, the mood was somber on campus where about 20 students were counseled by crisis teams. Other students like Quincy Adams donned black ribbons in memory of Nathaniel.
``I felt really bad because that's messed up,'' said Adams, 15, a sophomore. ``People are getting killed over stuff that makes no sense.
``(The shooting) had a lot of people crying,'' said Adams, who lives in Reseda.
Funeral services for Nathaniel will be held Wednesday at noon at St. Elizabeth's Church, 1879 N. Lake Ave., Altadena.
Yvette Cabrera and Bhavna Mistry are Daily News Staff Writers. Nick P. Divito is a Pasadena Star-News The Pasadena Star-News is the local daily newspaper for Pasadena, California. The Star-News is a member of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group. External links
PHOTO Quincy Adams sports a black ribbon given out at Chatsworth High School on Wednesday in memory of Aaron Bruce Nathaniel.
John Lazar/Daily News