One student has been shot and taken to a nearby medical center and another student is in custody in Taft, California, a rural community about 40 miles from Bakersfield. According the Taft Independent newspaper’s Facebook page, police are reporting that the incident is over and that the weapon, a shotgun, has been confiscated.
Men wearing FBI vests were observed at the crime scene, but would not comment to reporters.
UPDATE: Kero and Bakersfield’s ABC Channel 23 reports that the incident occurred around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. The suspect was taken into custody at 9:20 a.m. by police.
UPDATE: KGET reports that two people were injured at the scene, one of whom was airlifted to Kern Medical Center. The second person had only mild injuries and declined medical treatment.
KGET also reports that of the two people who were injured, one was a teacher and the other a student.
UPDATE: Taft’s congressman, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has released a statement that said, “I am deeply saddened and troubled by news of the shooting. Judy and I offer our prayers to the victims, their families and the entire Taft Community.”
UPDATE: Taft police will have a press conference at noon local time, 3:00 p.m. EST.
UPDATE: At a press conference, Taft police confirmed that police arrived at the high school “within 60 seconds” of the first calls coming in early this morning.
The shooter was a student, and used a 12-gauge shotgun. Police said the teen had “as many as 20 shotgun rounds in his pocket,” and up to 28 students were in the classroom he invaded.
One student was shot, but the shooter missed a second. After the shooting, the teen was talked down by a teacher and a school administrator and he gave himself up. The teacher received a minor wound to his head but refused hospitalization. He was not named.
“We know the students involved, we know the teacher, we know the campus supervisor, they are some awesome people,” a police spokesperson said. “They did a great job protecting the kids and we can’t thank them enough.”
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) similarly credited the teacher, who he said “saved many lives today.”
“His actions were right,” he said. “The actions that he took saved many.”
UPDATE: The student wounded during the school shooting is in critical but stable condition, according to the Associated Press. Another student was hospitalized due to potential hearing damage from the shotgun blast. The Huffington Post reported the high school had an armed guard who was not on campus due to heavy snowfall.
[image via Shutterstock]
Stephen C. Webster and Eric W. Dolan contributed to this report.