You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • UCLA wades through damages from pipe flooding
    LOS ANGELES – The quiet summer campus of UCLA suddenly was steeped in water and chaos after a major water pipe burst and spewed about 8 million gallons, stranding people in parking garages and flooding the school’s storied basketball
  • US economy grew at strong 4 percent rate in spring
    WASHINGTON – After a dismal winter, the U.S. economy sprang back to life in the April-June quarter, growing at a fast 4 percent annual rate on the strength of higher consumer and business spending.
  • US sues Pennsylvania over police fitness tests
      HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania State Police, one of the nation’s largest forces, is faced with ending the physical fitness tests it gives to applicants for state trooper positions or defending in court a practice
Advertisement

Teen shoots student, surrenders his gun

– A 16-year-old student armed with a shotgun walked into a rural California high school on Thursday, shot one student and fired at others and missed before a teacher and another staff member talked him into surrendering, officials said.

The teen victim was in critical but stable condition, and the suspect, whose pockets were stuffed with ammunition, was still being interrogated, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a news conference Thursday evening.

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 said.

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 Thursday morning.

When the shots were fired, teacher Ryan Heber tried to get the more than two dozen students out a back door and engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, Youngblood said. Campus supervisor Kim Lee Fields responded to a call of shots fired and also began talking to the teen.

“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,” Youngblood said.

“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 sheriff said. “They knew not to let him leave the classroom with that shotgun.”

Youngblood said the suspect alleges the two students he targeted had bullied him for more than a year, but the sheriff couldn’t confirm the allegations.

“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.

The shotgun was in the boy’s home, he said.

The sheriff’s department did not release the boy’s name because he was a juvenile and had yet to be charged. But many students and community members said they knew the boy and said he was often teased, including Alex Patterson, 18, who went to Taft with the suspect before graduating last year.

“He comes off as the kind of kid who would do something like this,” Patterson said. “He talked about it a lot, but nobody thought he would.”

Trish Montes, who lived next door to the suspect, said 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.”

Advertisement