Taft High School Shooting: Suspect In Custody In Taft, California

2 Reported Shot At California School

A shooting has been reported at Taft Union High School in Taft, California, KERO reports.

UPDATE: At a press conference held Thursday afternoon, Sheriff Donny Youngblood said that the shooter, a 16-year-old student at the high school, entered a science classroom at around 9 a.m. that morning armed with a 12-gauge shotgun.

According to Youngblood, the teen shot one student before shooting at and missing another. Law enforcement officials believe both students shot at were intended targets, and Youngblood said the shooter called his second target by name before firing.

The teacher began to evacuate the students out a back door, then he and a campus supervisor were able to engage the shooter in conversation and distract him while students evacuated the classroom, the sheriff said. The two adults were able to calm the shooter and convince him to put down the gun.

"[They] did a great job protecting the kids," Chief of Police Ed Whiting said at the conference.

The teacher suffered a minor pellet wound to the head.

Youngblood said a neighbor saw the shooter enter the school armed with the shotgun and called 911, and that Taft police were on the scene in less than sixty seconds.


The suspect is believed to be a student, Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt told the Associated Press, and police believe the weapon used was a shotgun.

Two people have been reported shot, according to the station. The first victim suffered minor injuries and refused treatment, according to KGET. The second, a student, was airlifted to Kern Medical Center. Ryan Dunbier, senior deputy with the Kern County Sheriff's Department, told the New York Daily News that the airlifted victim had been shot in the chest and was critically wounded.

The incident occurred at about 9 a.m., according to KABC, and took place in the science building, according to the TaftMidwayDriller.com, a local paper's website.

At around 9:20, the suspect was taken into custody and students were evacuated to the football field. Parents were notified and asked to pick up their children.

Taft is a community of about 7,000 located 30 miles southwest of Bakersfield, in San Joaquin Valley.

An employee of the Taft Police Department told The Huffington Post the department would not release any information on the shooting. They also said a press conference would take place later today at the scene of the crime.

This is a developing story, check back for further updates.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that 2 people were reported dead. Two people were reported injured.

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