California school shooter talked into surrendering by heroic staff

Jan 12, 2013, 07:34 IST | Agencies

A gunman who opened fire on students at a Californian high school was talked into surrendering by two 'heroic' staff members, it has emerged.

A 16-year-old gunman walked into Taft Union High School in Bakersfield yesterday morning armed with a shotgun planning to shoot two students on a hit list.

Stop the madness: The shooting occured as the US Vice President Joe Biden carried out a meeting with representatives of sport shooting to discuss gun policy proposals. Pic/AFP

One victim remains in critical condition.

Teacher Ryan Heber helped a number of students get to safety before engaging the shooter in conversation along with campus supervisor Kim Lee Fields.

“They talked him into putting that shotgun down,” explained Sheriff Donny Youngblood. “He in fact told the teacher, ‘I don’t want to shoot you’.”

“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. They knew not to let him leave the classroom with that shotgun.” Police believe the suspect, who was arrested at the scene, took a shotgun belonging to his brother to carry out the attack. The suspect alleges the two students he targeted had bullied him for more than a year.

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