(CBS/AP) TAFT, Calif. - A 16-year-old student armed with a shotgun walked into a class at Taft Union High School in rural Southern California Thursday and shot one student, fired at another but missed, and then was talked into surrendering by a teacher and another staff member, officials said.
The teen victim was in critical but stable condition, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told a press conference. The sheriff said the teacher suffered a minor pellet wound to the head but declined treatment.
The alleged shooter was taken into custody.
When the shots were fired, the teacher began trying to get more than two dozen students out a back door and also engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, Youngblood said. A campus supervisor responding to a call of shots fired also began talking to him.
"They talked him into putting the shotgun down," Youngblood said.
CBS affiliate KBAK reported that a third-year science teacher tried evacuating 28 students from his classroom and engaged the shooter in conversation, trying to stop the shooting. A campus supervisor was in the area and also engaged the shooter in conversation.
The sheriff said that at one point the shooter told the teacher, "I don't want to shoot you" and named the person he wanted to shoot.
The shooter may have had up to 20 shotgun rounds in his pockets, he said.
Officials said there's usually an armed officer on campus but the person wasn't there because he was snowed in. Taft police officers arrived within 60 seconds of first reports.
The shooting occurred about 9 a.m. at the 9th through 12th grade school in a community of fewer than 10,000 people, amid oil and natural gas production fields about 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The student who was shot was flown to a hospital in Bakersfield, said Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff's Department.
KBAK reported one student was taken to the hospital with possible damaged hearing, because the shotgun was discharged close to her head. The station said another student received minor injuries while falling over a table trying to escape inside the classroom.
Classes at the school were cancelled for Friday and will resume Monday, the station reported. Counselors will be on site both days to help students, staff and parents.
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