Many details surrounding the shooting have yet to be released by police as the investigation process begins. Taft is about 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
As of Thursday afternoon, one student was confirmed to have been shot, around 9 a.m. Thursday PST, the Associated Press reported. KGET reported two students in total were shot, one who suffered minor injured and refused treatment and another who was sent to Kern Medical Center.
Kern County sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt said one suspect, who likely used a shotgun, was taken into custody and is believed to be a student.
Pruitt also confirmed one student who was shot was flown to a hospital in Bakersfield, while the school was being evacuated.
KERO-TV in Bakersfield reported that the station received a flood of phone calls from people at the school describing the scene. Witnesses said people hid inside of closets and many students were tweeting in a panic.
The Taft Union High School shooting comes less than one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, which left 28 dead in total, including the gunman and his mother. Sandy Hook students returned to school just last Thursday.
On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 elementary students, six teacher and wounded two others before taking his own life. The students were mostly between the ages of six and seven-years-old. Lanza also shot his mother, 52-year-old Nancy lanza, at their home in Newtown, Conn. and killed himself as responders arrived.
Initial media reports that Lanza’s mother was connected to the school in some way proved to be false and police still do not know the motive for the attack. Lanza did not leave a suicide note or messages and had destroyed the hard drive on his computer prior to the attack.
Police learned that Lanza, who did not have a criminal record, suffered from a personality disorder and was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. He was home-schooled by his mother.
The shooting, in which Lanza used a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, a 10mm Glock and a 9mm SIG Sauer handgun, was declared the second deadliest in the U.S., after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, and has caused controversy over gun laws, since Lanza’s mother was a self-described gun enthusiast.
Sandy Hook prompted response from the White House and President Barack Obama who said, “We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics." The shooting also shed light on current gun policies, with pundits pleading to have laws reassessed.
The students' classrooms have been recreated down to the last detail at their new school. The students were sent to Chalk Hill Middle School in Monroe, about six miles from Newtown.
The Taft shooting took place the same day as Vice President Joe Biden headed a meeting at the White House with the National Rifle Association and other gun-advocacy groups. The task force convened to brainstorm ways to eliminate gun-related violence. According to reports, news of the shooting in California came as the White House pressed “send” on an email with the subject line "Working Together To Prevent Gun Violence.”