Two People Shot at California School, Suspect in Custody

A male student and a teacher were injured at Taft Union High School in California’s San Joaquin Valley and another teenage boy was taken into custody, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

A 16-year-old student was flown from the school in Taft, California, to a local hospital and is in critical and stable condition, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a news conference near the school. The teacher received a minor pellet wound to the head and refused treatment, Youngblood said.

The shooter “had intended targets,” Youngblood said. “There’s no question about that.”

The suspect, also 16, showed up midway through a science class and opened fire, Youngblood said. The alleged shooter, whom authorities didn’t identify, fired 2 to 4 rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun and called out the name of his intended victim, Youngblood said. The suspect fired at another student and missed, he said.

“Obviously, there had been a dialogue between the victim who is critical and the suspect before this morning,” Youngblood said.

The attack occurred as the White House considers stricter gun-control measures following last month’s mass shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school. Vice President Joe Biden is meeting with representatives of the National Rifle Association and other groups to discuss ways to curb access to firearms.

School Closed

Students were dismissed after the attack, and the school will remain closed tomorrow, said the interim superintendent, William McDermott.

Kern County authorities were notified of gunfire at the high school at 9:01 a.m., fire department spokesman Sean Collins said in a telephone interview.

Taft, a rural town of about 7,000 people set amid central California’s oil fields, is about 20 miles west of Bakersfield and 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

A gunman killed 20 children and six adults at the Newtown school on Dec. 14, using a semiautomatic rifle.

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