Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Kern County Student Who Opened Fire In Classroom Had A Hit List

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Students at Taft Union High School said that the boy who opened fire on his classmates yesterday was targeting students that he had on a hit list.Yesterday a student identified by a local news station as Bryan Oliver, 16, came to his first period class and opened fire on his classmates with a 12-gauge shotgun. His fire hit a student identified by USA Today as Bowe Cleveland in the chest, seriously though not fatally injuring him. Witnesses say that Oliver fired at other classmates but missed.

Students said that even though they were shocked that a shooting occurred, they didn't have trouble guessing who the gunman was.

Senior Rebecca Jackson was in a physics classroom just above where the shooting took place. She told the Bakersfield Californian, "I heard a popping noise and then everything went into lockdown. I knew, like immediately, that it was (the suspect)."

Taft junior Katie Wolfe told the Californian, "He does say stuff like that a lot. I’ve never heard him say a name that he was gonna shoot anybody in specific. I thought he was just kidding ’cause he’d say it all the time, and he never did anything since freshman year."

Support for LAist comes from

Angela Hayden, the parent of a student, told the Los Angeles Times the suspected shooter allegedly threatened to kill her daughter and other students last year on a field trip to Universal Studios. She said, "Everybody knew about this kid."

There are lots of unconfirmed rumors circulating on Twitter that Oliver had a hit list and had even been suspended for creating one last year. A few students even tweeted their concerns about Oliver last month.

Authorities confirmed that they are investigating just how long the gunman had planned the shooting, noting that it could have been as long as a year.

“He had intended targets. There's no question,” Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said. "Certainly the two people that he targeted had bullied him, in his mind."

The shooting could have been worse. Oliver fired off two to four rounds, but authorities said he had as many as 20 extra rounds in his pocket. Oliver's teacher Ryan Heber and campus supervisor Kim Fields are being hailed as community heroes for talking Oliver into putting his shotgun down.

Support for LAist comes from

Shooting Reported At Kern County High School