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.
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.
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.
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.
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