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Taft Union school shooting: California politicians speak out

January 10, 2013 |  1:05 pm
Sen. Dianne Feinstein

California politicians were quick to speak out about Thursday morning's shooting at Taft Union High School in Kern County that sent two students to the hospital, one with a gunshot wound.

Sheriff's officials said one student was shot in a science building and airlifted to a hospital in Bakersfield, about 40 miles northeast of the small town of Taft. Another student was taken to a hospital with a possible injury, said Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt, although officials believe the student was not actually hit by gunfire.

The condition of the injured student was not immediately known.

PHOTOS: Shooting at Taft Union High School

The suspected gunman, also a student, was taken into custody, sheriff's officials said. Pruitt said a shotgun had been recovered from the scene.

In a statement, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called the shooting — which she said occurred at the school her father attended — "tragic."

"At this moment, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims, and I wish them a speedy recovery," the statement said. "But how many more shootings must there be in America before we come to the realization that guns and grievances do not belong together?"

Feinstein authored the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons that expired a decade later. Last year, after a Dec. 14 massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults, she vowed to introduce another such bill this month.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip for the U.S. House of Representatives whose district includes Taft, tweeted about the shooting. McCarthy was expected to attend an afternoon news conference regarding the incident.

"I am deeply saddened and troubled by news of the shooting," he wrote. "Judy and I offer our prayers to the victims, their families and the entire Taft community."

State Sen. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) said "those responsible for the deplorable action today must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

"My thoughts and prayers are with the students, faculty, families and first responders at Taft Union High School this morning. At this moment, their safety and well-being is paramount," Fuller said in a statement. "Let me be absolutely clear. Violence directed at our children and teachers in schools is unacceptable."

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

Photo: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, seen at a news conference in November, said the shooting was "tragic." Credit: Alex Brandon / Associated Press

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