CA teacher & counselor saved lives talking student to put gun down in school after classmate shot
Teacher "Saved Many Lives" in Kern County School Shooting
A student shot a classmate at Taft Union High School before a teacher and school counselor "talked him into putting the shotgun down"
By Jonathan Lloyd and Nyree Arabian
| Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 | Updated 12:47 PM PS
A teacher and school counselor were credited with saving lives Thursday morning after a student with a shotgun opened fire on another student in a Kern County high school classroom.
Emergency crews responded to the location (map), about 120 miles north of Los Angeles, at about 9 a.m. Sheriff's officials told KGET the gunman entered a classroom on the second floor of a science building and shot one student.
The student was in critical, but stable, condition.
A teacher who "engaged" the gunman in conversation after the shooting suffered minor injuries when he was grazed by a pellet from the shotgun, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Department. The teacher, joined by a school counselor, convinced the student to drop the 12-gauge shotgun, said Kern County Sheriff Don Youngblood.
"If it weren't for this teacher and a quick response, we don't know," Youngblood said."They talked him into putting the shotgun down."
The shooter -- described as a male student who brought a shotgun to the school -- was in custody, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Department. It was not immediately clear how the student gained access to the weapon, sheriff's officials said.
Local authorities and FBI agents remained at the school at 11 a.m. At noon, students remained in the school auditorium as deputies searched the campus.
The high school is in the Kern County community of Taft, a city of about 9,500 residents near a massive oil field at the southwestern edge of the Central Valley.
The Taft shooting came less than one month after a gunman killed 20 children and six women at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., then killed himself
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