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Friday, January 11, 2013

School Shooting in Kern County, California

Friday Update  L.A. Times interviews woman who says shooter threatened to kill her daughter while on a bus trip last year  (confirming earlier reports below) and had "hit list"due to bullying  He was suspended but when allowed to return the woman complained to no avail.  She said her son had been bullied also and that this was a big problem at the school. 

UPDATE #5   CNN reveals shooter planned it night before and got (took?) shotgun from his brother.   Felt two classmates he shot at had "bullied" him.   Also names of the two "heroes" released: the teacher is Ryan Heber (photo left) and the campus supervisor is Kim Lee Fields.  Heber only slightly hurt. 

First lengthy eyewitness account here from a classmate who says people had made fun of shooter (way he looked or his music etc.) but was actually a "nice guy."   He shot first kid he was looking for but did not shoot the second when he said he was sorry (for whatever).  A little unclear exactly what teacher did then and it's possible the second staffer did more to calm shooter and get him to put gun down.  Another mention of hit list.  L.A. Times quotes another classmate who says shooter was teased because he was "short."

UPDATE #4 People who know him say still-unnamed shooter is, what else, a "loner"--who was also teased a lot by classmates.  See reports below on his alleged suspension last year and "hit list."  Meanwhile, student shot still critical but expected to pull through.

UPDATE #3   Sen. Dianne Feisntein issues strong statement on guns--and notes that her father attended that very high school....No updates on condition of shot student, or names of hero teacher or shooter.  

UPDATE #2  Press briefing at 3:30 p.m. ET:   Sheriff Donny Youngblood speaks.  Shooter did not show up for class,  then arrived.  First shot student, 16, tried to shoot second and missed, with 12-gauge shotgun and numerous rounds.  Teacher talked him down and he put weapon down.   Couple students with minor injuries and one critical.   "Teacher saved many lives."   Teacher, apparently "young man,"  had slight pellet wound to head. Another staffer, "campus supervisor,"  also helped.

Shooter also age 16.   Neighbor saw him walking to school with shotgun and called police. Reporter asks if there was incident involving unnamed shooter from last year--that he had been bullied and had been suspended and had "hit list."   He says seven parents told him same story--kid had hit list last year.  Police won't confirm.  In any case, he had at least two specific students he was gunning for today, it was clear.

Taft police officer usually at school every day--but got "snowed in" today. Teacher called "heroic."

UPDATE #1:  Police say suspect used a shotgun and is probably a student there. Sam Stein of Huff Post tweets:  "Confirmed. Taft High School does have a uniform deputy sheriff monitoring campus before, during and after school."  Parents report a teacher shot but not badly injured.  See video below, with report of girl who was hiding in classroom next to one of victims who was in "pool of blood," and teacher shot.  In Science building.  Police now at home of (unnamed) shooter.  Press briefing some time after noon, local time.  L.A. Times on students, parents, blood.

From site of Bakersfield TV station ABC23:
TAFT, Calif. - Officials have said that at least two people were shot at Taft High School. The shooting happened at about 9 a.m., and reports indicate that at least two people were shot. The shooter was taken into custody at about 9:20 a.m. officials said.

23ABC News received phone calls from people inside the school who were hiding in closets. Kern County Sheriff's Department officials are going room-by-room to secure the school. Reports indicate that the first person shot was airlifted to Kern Medical Center and the second person denied medical treatment.

Parents need to pickup their students at the football field.
First video: