On Thursday morning, a shooting occurred at Taft Union High School, about 120 northwest of Los Angeles.
Morgan Alldredge, a 16-year-old junior who witnessed the incident, told the Associated Press that a 16-year-old classmate entered her classroom with a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun and began shooting. He shot one boy in the chest and shoulder, and then fired another round at students trying to flee the classroom. Alldredge noted that at that point, the shooter looked at her and said “Not you…All I want is Jacob.” That student, who was hiding behind a desk, popped up and repeatedly apologized to the shooter for bullying him.
That emotional reaction changed the shooters’ stance, and he began listening to the teacher, Ryan Heber, who was telling him to put the gun down. According to the New York Post, Heber saved many students, providing time for students to flee and hide and opportunity for the school counselor to enter and talk to the shooter. As they did and he put the gun down, school official Kim Fields grabbed the shooter in a bear hug and got him to the ground.
Alldredge noted that during the attack, the shooter had a “disturbing smile…kind of a smirk” as it all transpired.
Police continue to work to piece together the incident. Reports of a “hit list” compiled last school year are being investigated. Police believe the attack was planned, and the two boys were the intended targets. Bullying may or may not have occurred, but appear to be what spurred the shooter.
The shooter was booked on two counts of attempted murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.
The boy shot in the chest remains in critical condition, but is expected to live.
The shooting caused parents and students at surrounding schools to be on edge Friday. According to The Bakersfield Californian, a fist-fight that occurred during school on Thursday at Bakersfield High School developed into threats of a shooting that would occur Friday. The threats were sent via text message and Facebook, but were deemed not credible by police, who were stationed at the school for most of the day Friday. Similar stories emerged from three other schools, East Bakersfield High School, Golden Valley High School, and Mira Monte High School.
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