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2 hurt in California high school shooting


10:32, January 11, 2013

LOS ANGELES, Jan 10 (Xinhua) -- Two people were injured in a high school shooting in Taft city of Kern County, California, Thursday morning.

According to local police, one of the victims, a science teacher, suffered minor injury, while the other was a student who is now in serious but stable condition. The student was airlifted to Kern Medical Center after the shooting.

Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt told media that the suspect was a student, and is now under police custody. He also said the suspect's weapon was a shotgun.

The motivation behind the shooting is still under investigation, Pruitt added.

The Bakersfield Californian, a local newspaper, quoted another police source as saying that the 16-year-old suspect walked into his class at around 9:00 a.m. local time (1700 GMT) with a 12-gauge shotgun.

A neighbor in the area saw the student walking to school with a gun and called 911. It is reported that the suspect talked to the student before he shot at him.

A teacher named Ryan Heber and a campus supervisor heard the gun shots, and managed to persuade the suspect to put down his gun.

The police said the wounded student was an intended target of the suspect, who also named a second intended target that was not hit.

School students were evacuated to a football field in the wake of the incident, and their parents were called to pick them up.

Also on Thursday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden held talks with hunters, wildlife interest groups and gun rights groups over gun control.

Biden, who is leading the White House's gun-control task force, said he would present gun-control proposals to President Barack Obama by next Tuesday.

Twenty school kids and six adults were killed by a shooter in Sandy Hook Elementary shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14 last year. The mass shooting tragedy has renewed calls for gun control.

On Wednesday, Biden said the president was prepared to take executive action in response to gun violence.

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