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January 11, 2013

1 student shot at high school in Taft

TAFT, Calif. — A student was shot and wounded at a rural California high school Thursday and a student suspect was taken into custody, officials said.

The shooting occurred about 9 a.m. at Taft Union High School in Taft, a community of fewer than 10,000 people amid oil and natural gas production fields about 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

A shotgun was used in the attack, officials said.

KERO-TV Bakersfield reported that the station received phone calls from people inside the school who hid in closets.

The bell had just rung at a nearby school when teachers began shouting for students to get inside buildings, and the principal used an intercom to tell students to stay inside, Felicity Reich, 13, a student at Lincoln Junior High School, said.

The student who was shot at the high school was flown to a hospital in Bakersfield, said Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.

Another person suffered some type of injuries in the incident but refused medical attention, Kern County Fire Department Eric Coughran told KBAK-TV.

It was not immediately clear how many students are enrolled at the high school, which includes ninth through 12th grades.

Masses of parents headed to the school football field to find their children, and officials at other schools took action to protect their students as well, the newspaper said. The Taft shooting came less than a month after a gunman massacred 20 children and six women at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

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