A school shooting at a high school in the US was dramatically aborted by a brave teacher, who talked the gunman into putting down his weapon, after he shot and injured a pupil.

The teacher and campus supervisor at Taft Union High School was praised by police fo convincing the shooter to stop the violence. Police said he held enough ammunition to have killed many people.

taft

Paramedics transporting a student wounded during a shooting

Named locally as Ryan Heber, the science teacher is believed to have ushered more than two dozen students out a back door and engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him

The injured student is currently in a critical condition in hospital, but stable.

The gunman, who is also a student and has not been named because he is a minor, is believed to have shot at two people in the school's science block. Another victim targeted dodged the bullet, and a teacher was grazed by a pellet, before intervening.

US media reported that the teacher said: "There will be no shooting in my classroom," with the shooter telling the teacher he would put down his weapon. He was then arrested by police.

Campus supervisor Kim Lee Fields responded to a call of shots fired and also began talking to the teen.


Hunter Liljeroos
Of course Kim Fields saves the day. Wouldn't expect anything less. We need more people like him in this world.


Monica Solis
I've always said my high school has amazing teachers. Props to Mr. Heber and Kim Fields for talking the gunman down. Takes courage!

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said: "They talked him into putting that shotgun down. He in fact told the teacher, 'I don't want to shoot you,' and named the person that he wanted to shoot.

"The heroics of these two people goes without saying. They could have just as easily... tried to get out of the classroom and left students, and they didn't."

The suspect used a shotgun that belonged to his brother and went to bed Wednesday night with a plan to shoot two fellow students, Youngblood continued.

Surveillance video shows the alleged shooter trying to conceal the gun as he nervously entered Taft Union High School through a side entrance after school had started.

Youngblood said the suspect alleges the two students he targeted had bullied him for more than a year.

"Certainly he believed that the two people he targeted had bullied him, in his mind. Whether that occurred or not we don't know yet," Youngblood said.

taft high school

Parents gather outside Taft High School

At around 9:20am, the suspect was taken into custody and students were evacuated to the football field. Parents were notified and asked to pick up their children.

Trish Montes, who lived next door to the suspect, told AP he was "a short guy" and "small" who was teased about his stature by many, including the victim.

"Maybe people will learn not to bully people," Montes said. "I hate to be crappy about it, but that kid was bullying him."

"All I ever heard about him was good things from my son," Montes said. "He wasn't Mr. Popularity, but he was a smart kid. It's a shame.

"My kid said he was like a genius. It's a shame because he could have made something of himself."

The shooting comes just a month after a gunman killed 20 elementary school pupils and six staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Taft is a community of about 7,000 located 30 miles southwest of Bakersfield, in San Joaquin Valley.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Unidentified women cry while standing outside Taft Union High School after a shooting on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2012 in Taft, Calif. The sheriff of Kern County, Calif., says a 16-year-old student shot at a high school is in critical but stable condition. Sheriff Donny Youngblood says the shooter is a student who walked into a class at Taft Union High School Thursday morning and shot the teen with a shotgun, and then fired at another student but missed. A teacher suffered a minor pellet wound to the head. Youngblood says the teacher tried to get other students out a back door, then he and another staff member engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, and convinced him to put down the gun. (AP Photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Alex Horvath) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; ONLINE OUT; TV OUT

  • Parents and students gather outside Taft Union High School after a shooting on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2012 in Taft, Calif. The sheriff of Kern County, Calif., says a 16-year-old student shot at a high school is in critical but stable condition. Sheriff Donny Youngblood says the shooter is a student who walked into a class at Taft Union High School Thursday morning and shot the teen with a shotgun, and then fired at another student but missed. A teacher suffered a minor pellet wound to the head. Youngblood says the teacher tried to get other students out a back door, then he and another staff member engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, and convinced him to put down the gun. (AP Photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Alex Horvath) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; ONLINE OUT; TV OUT

  • A unidentified woman cries while standing outside Taft Union High School after a shooting on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2012 in Taft, Calif. The sheriff of Kern County, Calif., says a 16-year-old student shot at a high school is in critical but stable condition. Sheriff Donny Youngblood says the shooter is a student who walked into a class at Taft Union High School Thursday morning and shot the teen with a shotgun, and then fired at another student but missed. A teacher suffered a minor pellet wound to the head. Youngblood says the teacher tried to get other students out a back door, then he and another staff member engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, and convinced him to put down the gun. (AP Photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Alex Horvath) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; ONLINE OUT; TV OUT

  • Police search a home, at right, believed to be the home of the Taft Union High School shooter, who shot one student, in Taft, Calif., Thursday Jan. 10, 2013. The teen victim was in critical but stable condition. The shooter was later talked into surrendering and was taken into custody.(AP Photo/Tracie Cone)

  • This image provided by the Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler shows officials taping off an area outside San Joaquin Valley high school in Taft, Calif., Thursday Jan. 10, 2013. Authorities said a student was shot and wounded and another student was taken into custody. (AP Photo/Taft Midway Driller, Doug Keeler)

  • This image provided by the Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler shows paramedics assisting a student wounded during a shooting Thursday Jan. 10, 2013 at San Joaquin Valley high school in Taft, Calif. Authorities said a student was shot and wounded and another student was taken into custody. (AP Photo/Taft Midway Driller, Doug Keeler)

  • This image provided by the Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler shows paramedics transporting a student wounded during a shooting Thursday Jan. 10, 2013 at San Joaquin Valley high school in Taft, Calif. Authorities said a student was shot and wounded and another student was taken into custody. (AP Photo/Taft Midway Driller, Doug Keeler)

  • This image provided by the Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler shows paramedics assisting a student wounded during a shooting Thursday Jan. 10, 2013 at San Joaquin Valley high school in Taft, Calif. Authorities said a student was shot and wounded and another student was taken into custody. (AP Photo/Taft Midway Driller, Doug Keeler) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • CALIF SCHOOL SHOOTING

    Map locates a shooting in Taft Calif., where at least two are shot near a high school.