Gun violence has been in the hearts and minds of Americans from sea to shining sea in recent weeks, after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 20 children and six adults.
Today, the wave of gun violence continued, just as a hearing with Vice President Joe Biden regarding the White House’s new “Gun Violence Task Force” was under way.
News is breaking across the wires and social media that a gunman infiltrated a school in Taft, California and people had been shot.
According to CNN local police are reporting that one student, a 16-year-old, fired at two students with a 12-gauge shotgun, critically wounding one and missing the other at Taft High School earlier this morning.
The 16-year-old suspect is a student who missed the start of his first class Thursday morning.
He entered the school in the middle of first period, walked into class and shot a 16-year-old fellow student with a 12-gauge shotgun, Kern County Sheriff Don Youngblood told reporters.
The shooter then fired at a second student, but missed, according to Sheriff Youngblood.
The teacher in the class tried to usher almost 30 students out of the class and engaged the shooter in conversation, according to Sheriff Youngblood.
That teacher and another person, a “campus supervisor”, continued to talk to the shooter, and eventually the shooter put the shotgun down, Youngblood said. Police officers then arrested the shooter.
The wounded student was then airlifted to a hospital.The teacher was apparently struck in the head by a pellet, but appeared fine, Kern County Sheriff Don Youngblood told reporters.
Besides the student who was shot, a second student was taken to the hospital with possible hearing damage because the gun was fired so close to her.
A third student apparently was hurt when he or she “fell over tables” trying to leave the classroom.
Classes are expected to resume on Monday, an official said at a news conference in Taft.
U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, whose district includes Taft, tells reporters at a news conference there, “What this teacher did was heroic,”"