Student, teacher shot at Taft High School

TAFT, Calif. - Officials have said that at least two people were shot at Taft High School and the shooter has been arrested.

The shooting occurred about 9 a.m. at Taft Union High School, an oil and agricultural community about 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The shooting took place in the Science Building at the school.

Special Section - Taft High School Shooting -

Though social media has promptly broadcasted the names of the victims and the shooter, 23ABC has decided to not publish those names involved until sources confirm those involved.

"We have a suspect in custody," Pruitt said, adding that the person was a 16-year-old shooter.

Pruitt said he believes the student used a shotgun in the attack and that weapon has been recovered.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood said that the student shot one student who is in critical condition. The shooter attempted to shoot another student but missed and struck a teacher in the head.

Youngblood said that the student took the shotgun on campus and began shooting.

The shooter had multiple rounds of 12-gauge shells on him and was taken down by the teacher who was shot, authorities said.

David Heber, the father of teacher Ryan Heber, said that his son is doing okay.

David said in an interview with 23ABC News, "(Ryan's) a fantastic and good young man, and I appreciate him being true to himself."

Heber was shot in the head by a stray fragment, multiple sources told 23ABC News.

Heber refused medical treatment.

Heber and a campus security officer distracted the shooter to let the other students leave the room.

The shooter told authorities that he was planning on shooting another student.

GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy said,

"I am deeply saddened and troubled by news of the shooting. Judy and I offer our prayers to the victims, their families and the entire Taft community."

23ABC News received phone calls from people inside the school who were hiding in closets.

Parents said that a teacher was also shot, but his injuries were only minor.

Kern County Sheriff's Department officials are going room-by-room to secure the school.

Reports indicate that the first person shot was airlifted to Kern Medical Center and the second person denied medical treatment.

23ABC News contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation officials and they said they will not comment on the situation.

Parents need to pickup their students at the football field.


It was not immediately clear how many students are enrolled at the high school, which teaches 9th through 12th grades.

The Taft shooting came less than a month after a gunman massacred 20 children and six women at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., then killed himself.

That shooting prompted President Barack Obama to promise new efforts to curb gun violence. Vice President Joe Biden, who was placed in charge of the initiative, said Tuesday in Washington, D.C., that he would deliver new policy proposals to the president by next week.

Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) released the following statement regarding news of a shooting Thursday morning at Taft Union High School:

My thoughts and prayers are with the students, faculty, families and first responders at Taft Union High School this morning. At this moment, their safety and well-being is paramount.
Let me be absolutely clear. Violence directed at our children and teachers in schools is unacceptable.

Not more than a month ago, the nation turned its attention to the horrific violence that occurred in Newtown. As a local resident and community member, elected official and former educator, I know Taft well. It's a community also made up of proud and hard-working residents who send their children to schools to learn.
Those responsible for the deplorable action today must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The American Red Cross – Kern Chapter are at the scene to support the shooting incident at Taft Union High School.  

A volunteer team has been assembled which includes volunteer Mental Health and Nurse Professionals as well as our trained volunteer Disaster Responders.  In addition to these support services, the Red Cross will be offering canteen services. 

Christine Lizardi Frazier, Kern County Superintendent of Schools:

“Today’s shooting at Taft High School reminds us that violence can happen anywhere and at any time.  I appreciate and applaud the excellent work of law enforcement, the school district and heroic individuals who helped to diffuse this situation quickly.
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools office and our school and community partners have and will continue to offer our resources to assist the Taft community.
My heart goes out to those injured in this shooting.  The safety

of students is our number one priority, and we will continue to work together as a community to strengthen our safety efforts.”


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