Police: Teen shot 1 classmate, missed another in California high school
Police officers were called to the school at about 9 a.m. local time Thursday.
January 10th, 2013
09:15 PM ET

Police: Teen shot 1 classmate, missed another in California high school

  • Student, 16, walked into class late and fired at two classmates with 12-gauge shotgun, critically wounding one and missing the other at Taft (California) Union High School on Thursday morning, police say
  • Teacher was struck in head with pellet, but is OK, sheriff says
  • Police: Suspect put gun down after teacher and "campus supervisor" talked to him; wounded student airlifted to hospital

[Updated at 7:09 p.m. ET] An armed police officer is assigned to the school but he wasn't at the school at the time of the shooting because snowfall in the area prevented his arrival, authorities said.

[Updated at 7:03 p.m. ET] A mother of a student witness recalls the moment that her daughter called her after the shooting: "She was telling me, 'Mom, get here, there’s blood everywhere," the woman CNN affiliate KERO.

[Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET] Here's more quotes from Kern County Sheriff Don Youngblood, from the news conference earlier this afternoon, about the teacher and the campus supervisor who apparently talked the suspect into dropping his weapon:

“When (the teacher) started a dialogue, the shotgun, he said, was pointed in several different directions. He is unsure how many rounds were fired … . He said as the dialogue started with him and the campus supervisor, who was just outside the room, the student was still armed with the shotgun. They, I think, probably distracted him in a conversation, allowing students to get out of the classroom and ultimately talking the student down.”

Youngblood added: "To stand there and face someone that has a shotgun - who has already discharged it and shot a student - speaks volumes for these two young men, and what they may have prevented. They could have just as easily tried to get out of the classroom and left students, and they didn't. They knew not to let him leave that classroom with that shotgun, and they took that responsibility on very serious, and we're very proud of the job they did."

The school district's superintendent told reporters that the school's staff had just reviewed lockdown procedures earlier Thursday morning.

[Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET] The news conference ended more than an hour ago, but we wanted to give you some longer quotes from officials about how a teacher and a "campus supervisor" - a campus monitor on the school's staff - talked to the suspect until, authorities say, the suspect put down the weapon.

After the suspect shot one student and missed another, "the teacher at that point was trying to get the students out of the classroom and engaged the shooter - who had numerous rounds of shotgun shells … in his pockets - engaged the suspect in conversation," Kern County Sheriff Don Youngblood said.

“A campus supervisor showed up, was outside the classroom, and together they engaged in conversation with this young man, and at one point he put the shotgun down, and police officers were able to take him into custody,” Youngblood said.

Here's what Taft Police Chief Ed Whiting said about the teacher and the campus supervisor:

"We want to really commend the teacher and a campus supervisor for all they did to bring this to a very quick resolution before anybody else was harmed. ... They did a great job in protecting the kids, and we can't thank them enough for what they did today."

U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, whose district includes Taft, also praised the teacher.

"I first want to commend the teacher. I think he saved many lives today. His actions, his time, his ability of what he did (to) protect the students there," McCarthy said.

McCarthy also praised law enforcement for responding quickly. Youngblood said Taft police officers were at the school within 60 seconds of a 911 call.


June 7th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Small plane forced to land after violating presidential airspace restrictions

A small plane was forced to land in Chino, California, after a pilot violated airspace restrictions in place for President Barack Obama's visit, FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer told CNN.

Kenitzer had no further details about the incident.

The military also intercepted a private plane Thursday morning in the vicinity of Fullerton, California, Kenitzer said. The aircraft, a Mooney M20, landed at Chino at 6:04 a.m. PDT. The FAA is investigating.

The incidents on Thursday followed a similar issue on Wednesday when a fighter jet intercepted a single-engine airplane northwest of Los Angeles for breaching a temporary airspace restriction, according to a military news release.

The temporary restriction violated by the Cessna aircraft coincided with a campaign visit to the city by Obama, who was on a one-day fundraising swing through the state.

"After intercepting the aircraft, the F-16 followed it until it landed without incident, at approximately 4:58 p.m. PDT where the plane was met by local law enforcement," according to a statement issued by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The president spoke at a gala for the gay community in Los Angeles, on his third fundraising trip to the Golden State in the past month. Earlier in the day, he attended two campaign events in San Francisco.

NORAD's mission is to protect U.S. and Canadian airspace against possible threats and may require planes to change course or land.

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Filed under: Aviation • Barack Obama • California
August 16th, 2011
04:04 PM ET

Lockdown at Santa Monica College lifted

[Updated at 7:27 p.m. ET] A lockdown imposed Tuesday on the campus of California's Santa Monica College after it received an unconfirmed report of a gunman on campus was lifted an hour later, a school spokesman said.

Santa Monica police said the college received a call late Tuesday morning that someone may have fired a gun on campus, and the school was locked down.

College spokesman Bruce Smith said the lockdown was lifted an hour later, at about 12:15 p.m. PT, after police did a "complete sweep of campus" and found nothing to verify the report.

Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis said it was believed a student on the phone with her mother heard loud construction sounds and mistook them for gunshots.

KCAL: Reports of man with a gun on campus