As details emerged from Thursday's shooting at Taft High School in Taft, California, the teacher present in the classroom and a classroom superviser emerged as heroes for successfully talking the gunman into putting his shotgun down and surrendering before police arrived.
Multiple reports identify Ryan Heber as the science teacher whose first period class was interrupted when one of his students entered the class late with a shotgun and fired on another student. The shooter had planned to fire on another student, but Heber and classroom supervisor Kim Lee Fields, who responded once she heard gun shots, didn't overreact. Heber just participated a shooting emergency prepared class that morning. Heber and Fields were able to talk to the shooter while Heber evacuated the rest of his class to safety. Eventually, they convinced him to put the shotgun down without hurting anyone else. They disarmed the shooter even before police officials could get there.
What makes the whole situation even crazier is that Heber was one of the original victims referred to in initial reports. His head was grazed by a shotgun pellet but he refused medical attention later. The student that was shot is in critical but stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.
"If it weren't for this teacher and a quick response, we don't know," Kern County Sheriff Don Youngblood told reporters Thursday afternoon. "They talked him into putting the shotgun down."
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