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US school shooting victim critical

A 16-year-old student armed with a shotgun walked into a rural California high school, shot one student and fired at others and missed before a teacher and another staff member talked him into surrendering, officials said.

The teen victim was in critical but stable condition, and the suspect, whose pockets were stuffed with ammunition, was still being interrogated, Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a news conference.

The suspect used a shotgun that belonged to his brother and went to bed on Wednesday night with a plan to shoot two fellow students, Mr Youngblood said.

Surveillance video shows the alleged shooter trying to conceal the gun as he nervously entered Taft Union High School through a side entrance after school had started in the morning.

When the shots were fired, teacher Ryan Heber tried to get the more than two dozen students out of a back door and engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, Mr Youngblood said.

Campus supervisor Kim Lee Fields responded to a call of shots fired and also began talking to the teen.

"They talked him into putting that shotgun down. He in fact told the teacher, 'I don't want to shoot you', and named the person that he wanted to shoot," Mr Youngblood said.

"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," the sheriff said. "They knew not to let him leave the classroom with that shotgun."

Mr Youngblood said the suspect alleges the two students he targeted had bullied him for more than a year, but the sheriff could not confirm the allegations.

The shotgun is believed to belong to the boy's brother and was in the boy's home, Mr Youngblood said. The Sheriff's Department did not release the boy's name because he is a juvenile and had yet to be charged.


From Belfast Telegraph