Taft High School Shooting Stuns California Town

Megan O'Leary, Staff Writer

Just a few short weeks after the tragedy in Connecticut, another shooting spooks the small town of Taft, California.

Last Thursday, January 9, 16 year old Byran Oliver brought a 12 gauge shotgun into school and opened fire on his classmates. Oliver was targeting two students who are believed to have been bullying him. Only one student was hit and sent into critical condition.

Donny Youngblood, the county Sheriff, told CNN News that Oliver had planned out the shooting the night before, using his brother’s shotgun.

“The student did not show up for school on time Thursday… instead appearing about halfway through the first period of classes. He was caught on school surveillance cameras,” stated Youngblood, “using a side entrance instead of the school’s main door and appearing nervous as he tried to conceal the shotgun when he entered the school.”

Investigators and school officials have declined to comment the rumors made by many students that Oliver had been suspended from the school last year for allegedly making a hit list.

Oliver was said to have fired two shots, having the first one to do any damage and the second a miss. Witnesses said that after the shots were fired, Ryan Herber, the classroom teacher talked Oliver down and was able to have Kim Fields, a school administrator, grab him from behind and hold him until the police arrived shortly after.

Oliver was taken into custody and is now being charged with two accounts of attempted murder. One count for the victim in critical condition, and one for injuring the classroom teacher with a bullet casing. He was also charged with three counts of assault with a firearm.

Oliver pleaded ‘not gulity’ in court on Monday. The case is still ongoing.