News / USA

California Shooting Comes Amid National Debate on Gun Violence

Paramedics transport student wounded during shooting Jan. 10, 2013 at San Joaquin Valley high school in Taft, Calif (Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler)Paramedics transport student wounded during shooting Jan. 10, 2013 at San Joaquin Valley high school in Taft, Calif (Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler)
x
Paramedics transport student wounded during shooting Jan. 10, 2013 at San Joaquin Valley high school in Taft, Calif (Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler)
Paramedics transport student wounded during shooting Jan. 10, 2013 at San Joaquin Valley high school in Taft, Calif (Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler)
TEXT SIZE - +
Mike O'Sullivan
— A student is in critical but stable condition after a shooting at a high school in California on Thursday. The incident comes as the United States is engaged in an intense debate over gun violence.

The shooting occurred in the town of Taft, some 200 kilometers north of Los Angeles, after a 16-year-old student entered a classroom with a shotgun.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood explains what happened next. “He shot someone.  He tried to shoot someone else, and the teacher was trying to get the students to evacuate through the back door,” Youngblood said.

Police say that both the victim and a second student who escaped injury were intentionally targeted, and that the teacher and a campus supervisor engaged the shooter in conversation, allowing more than two dozen students to leave the room safely.  Police say that the teacher and campus employee persuaded the gunman to put down his weapon, and that their actions prevented the situation from worsening.

The critically wounded student, who is also 16 years old, was flown by helicopter to a medical center in nearby Bakersfield.  The teacher suffered a minor wound to the head from a shotgun pellet.  

The shooting comes less than one month after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.  The mass killing has sparked a national debate, and President Barack Obama has made curbing gun violence a priority.  Vice President Joe Biden has met with victims of gun violence, along with hunters and supporters of gun rights.

The vice president says he plans to release his recommendations next week, and that they might include provisions for stricter background checks for gun buyers and a ban on high capacity ammunition clips.  Some gun critics want more, including a renewal of a ban on high-powered assault weapons, which Congress enacted in 1994.  Congress allowed the law to expire in 2004, and several attempts to renew it have failed.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid