A school shooting was reported on January 10, 2013, in Taft, California (population, fewer than 10,000).
The Associated Press and other media sources report that a student was shot and another was slightly wounded at the Taft Union High School, in a rural San Joaquin Valley high school. An unidentified student was taken into custody. The shooting occurred around 9 a.m.
The wounded student (reportedly in an induced coma) was flown to a hospital in Bakersfield, according to Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff's Department. Pruitt said the suspect is a student, and a shotgun was used in the attack.
Kern County Fire Department Eric Coughran told KBAK-TV the another person suffered some type of injuries in the incident but refused medical attention.
Updated information: Suspect Identified
The victim is identified as 16-year-old Bowe Cleveland. Another student was shot at but not wounded. The classroom teacher, Ryan Heber, asked the shooter to surrender. The gunman dropped his weapon and was arrested. Heber suffered a minor wound to the head from being grazed by a shotgun pellet. Both of the students were believed to be intended targets of the shooter. A female student was also hospitalized for hearing damage because the shotgun was fired close to her ear. Students who personally knew the gunman said that he was bullied by the shooting victims. Source.Multiple sources have identified the suspected shooter as "Brian Oliver." Source.
Meanwhile, USA Today reported that the suspect was a "16-year-old student identified by KGET as Bryan Oliver."
Town Name Links To Skull & Bones
After a fire burned much of the town then known as Moron, California, the name was changed to Taft in honor of William Howard Taft, pictured above, (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930), the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913) and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930). He attended Yale University, and was a member of Skull and Bones. In 1878, Taft graduated, ranking second in his class out of 121.
William Howard Taft's father is Alphonso Taft, pictured above, (November 5, 1810 – May 21, 1891), the Attorney General and Secretary of War under President Ulysses S. Grant and the founder of an American political dynasty. Born in Townshend, Vermont, the son of Peter Rawson Taft of the powerful Taft family, he graduated from Yale College in 1833, where he also was a tutor 1835-37. At Yale, he and his classmate William Huntington Russell cofounded Skull and Bones, the preeminent senior society. Russell, in 1856, with several other Bonesmen, he incorporated Skull and Bones as the Russell Trust, later the Russell Trust Association. The Russell Trust Association is a tax-exempt association; it holds possession of the Skull and Bones Hall at Yale University and the society's holiday island, Deer Island. Sources: 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Coincidence: LA's Taft High School
When the news of the January 10, 2013 shooting was broadcast, media and law enforcement at first thought that Taft High School in Los Angeles was involved.
The following was reported on October 18, 2012, near Taft High School, in Los Angeles:
Los Angeles police are investigating a reported shooting Thursday afternoon across the street from Taft High School in Woodland Hills.
The shooting was reported around 3:15 p.m. in the Ralphs parking across from the school at Ventura Boulevard and Winnetka Avenue, said LAPD spokeswoman Norma Eisenman. The caller who reported the attack to police said they heard multiple shots. When police responded, they found a man, believed to be between 20 and 25, suffering from a gunshot wound, Eisenman said. The victim, who was not immediately identified, was hospitalized. The victim was not believed to be a student, though an initial call suggested he might be. It was not immediately clear if the school was on lock-down.
The assailants were reportedly driving a 4-door Infinity luxury sedan, last seen heading south on Quakertown Street.++++
Between 1983 and 1986, several ritual sex ring (child sexual abuse) cases allegedly occurred in Kern County, resulting in numerous long prison sentences, all of which were overturned—some of them decades later, because, it was said, the prosecutors had coerced false testimonies from the purported child victims. The details of these false accusations are covered extensively in the 2008 documentary Witch Hunt, narrated by Sean Penn.