One student was critically injured Thursday afternoon after a fellow student opened fire with a 12-guage shotgun at Taft High School in California, officials say.


The suspected gunman, a 16-year-old boy, was arrested by police who arrived at Taft Union High School about a minute after being called, said County Sheriff Donny Youngblood. Police say the shooter walked into an in-progress class after arriving late to school, armed with a shotgun and fired.

One student was critically wounded by gunfire and airlifted to a nearby hospital, Youngblood said. The identity of the shooter was not immediately released.

In the chaos, another student received minor injuries while falling over a table trying the flee the classroom, and a fourth student was taken to a hospital with possible hearing damage from the sound of the gun blast, Youngblood said.

A teacher and a school administrator confronted the suspect and persuaded the boy to put his gun down, Youngblood told reporters. He was then arrested.

The shooter had up to 20 shotgun rounds in his pocket, and there were more than 20 students in the classroom, authorities told Reuters. The teacher, who has not been named, was hit in the head with a shotgun pellet, but was not seriously wounded, they said.

An armed police officer is normally assigned to Taft Union High School but was not able to make it to work on Thursday because of snow on the roads, Youngblood said.