A hero teacher prevented a bloodbath this morning when he talked down a shotgun-wielding student — who had already plugged one victim and had 20 rounds of ammo in his pockets.
According to a press conference just held by the local sheriff and police chief, the 16-year-old gunman walked into Taft High School in Central California around 9 a.m. with at least two victims in mind.
He entered a classroom in the school's science building, shot one student — a 16-year-old boy, in the upper right chest — then "named" and attempted to shoot another student but missed.
That's when the hero teacher — who suffered a minor pellet wound to the head — talked down the shooter with the help of the school's "campus supervisor."
Meanwhile, authorities were responding to a 911 call by witnesses who saw the suspect entering the school with a shotgun. SWAT teams arrived, and the suspect was in custody around 9:30.
A medivac helicopter and three ambulances responded, reports KGET. One victim was airlifted and another refused treatment.
Tweets named the teacher as "Mr. Heber" (corresponding to a listing of science teacher Ryan Heber on the school's website), the student victim as Bowe Cleveland, and the campus supervisor as Kim Fields.
@brofessorkaylee Bowe Cleveland and I heard Mr. Heber
— James Byers (@jmbyers) January 10, 2013
Kim Fields and Mr. Heber talked the shooter out of his gameplan. No physical action took place.
— Hunter Liljeroos (@hunnermichaeltb) January 10, 2013
There's also chatter that the suspect is named Brian Oliver:
I don't know who Brian Oliver is but how could he think it's okay to shoot people? People like that sicken me!
— Makayla Payne (@makaylahope12) January 10, 2013
"@eriiicaaa_03: Brian Oliver was the shooter...I have no idea who that is:/" that doesn't surprise me!!
— Ashleyyy(:(@AshleyFaee) January 10, 2013
And there's talk of a "hit list" made by the suspect — something school officials may have been aware of.
Didn't Brian Oliver make a hit list last year and only got suspended for only 5 days??
— Tiffanyy (@Tiffanysueee) January 10, 2013
My aunt works for the department and said that kid was the one that made a hit list last year and he's in custody
— Jordyy Yarbrough (@lilJay_32) January 10, 2013
The shooter had a god damn hit list last year. Wish Taft high coulda been more conscious about that.
— Jeff Andrews (@CaliBlueBlood) January 10, 2013
In the wake of Connecticut's Sandy Hook Massacre, many — including the NRA — have suggested the answer is more armed guards at schools. According to the school's security policy, it keeps an armed, uniformed sheriff's deputy and two campus supervisors on duty before, during and after school.
Taft High School, located in Kern County, about 120 miles north of L.A., has 935 students and 64 faculty members, according to the California Department of Education. Taft High was featured in the 1986 movie The Best of Times with Kurt Russell and Robin Williams.