TAFT, Calif. - A 16-year-old accused of shooting and wounding a classmate at a California high school was charged as an adult on Monday, prosecutors said.
Bryan Oliver will face two counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a firearm in the attack Thursday at Taft Union High School that left another 16-year-old wounded, the Kern County district attorney's office said. Oliver was scheduled to be arraigned at 3 p.m. PST.
"It was just the factors of the case," Mark Pafford, the chief deputy district attorney who will be prosecuting the case, told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "The severity of the actions, the injuries to the victim, that a firearm was used. Those are the things we considered."
Oliver had been bullied by two classmates he allegedly targeted, according to a witness who knows the teen.
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He walked into a science classroom just as his classmates were finishing an oceanography test and quickly fired one round from a Winchester 12-guage shotgun, said Morgan Alldrege, a friend who was sitting just five feet from the suspect.
With a smirk on his face he fired a second round at students fleeing the classroom, but no one was struck, according to the witness. He then spoke his first words: "All I want is Jacob," referring to Alldrege's ex-boyfriend, whom she said had teased the suspect in the past.
That boy was hiding behind a desk in the classroom, and he apologized, Alldredge said in an interview Friday. "He kept saying, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
Hearing the apology caused the suspect to change, Alldredge said, and he began listening to the teacher who was telling him to put down the gun. The teacher talked him out of his gun and a school safety administrator put him in a bear hug and sat him on the ground.
Alldredge said the suspect was teased for his red hair, slight build and bookish appearance.
"They called him a `ginger' and said gingers don't have souls," she said. "I was his friend. I don't know why people picked on him. He was misunderstood."