Pupils leave school
A 16-year-old is in critical but stable condition in shooting at Taft Union High School southwest of Bakersfield. 'There's blood everywhere,' a student told her mother.
TAFT, Calif. — A 16-year-old was in critical condition Thursday night after a fellow student interrupted a first-period class at Taft Union High School southwest of Bakersfield, confronted him by name and fired a round from a 12-gauge shotgun into his upper body. The assailant, also 16, tried to shoot a second student and missed before a science teacher was able to talk him down, apparently taking the shotgun as the other students fled from the classroom through a door. Police officers arrived after the teacher had disarmed the assailant and took the teenager into custody. They seized the shotgun.
The teacher, Ryan Heber, was struck in the head by a pellet but was not seriously injured and refused treatment, authorities said. "If it weren't for this teacher and his quick response, we don't know what would have happened," Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said. Police said a school supervisor helped Heber distract the assailant. There were no security guards or police immediately on hand to help them: The school's armed police officer was not on duty Thursday because he had been delayed by snow, authorities said.