California School Shooter Had Hit List of Bullies

Suspect often talked about killing, students describe him as 'weird'

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 11, 2013 7:01 AM CST | Updated Jan 11, 2013 7:43 AM CST

(Newser) – It looks like earlier reports about bullying playing a key part in yesterday's California school shooting were right. The 16-year-old unnamed shooter allegedly composed a list of students he wanted to kill last year, and told authorities he had been bullied for more than a year, reports the Bakersfield Californian. "Certainly the two people that he targeted had bullied him, in his mind," says the local sheriff. The suspect reportedly drew up plans for the attack on Wednesday night, and used a shotgun belonging to his brother, reports CNN. He arrived at school with his pockets full of ammunition after classes had begun yesterday morning, gaining access through a side door.

One student says the suspect talked "all the time" about shooting people—"telling people that he's gonna kill them, or skin them alive or something, or eat their puppies"—since his freshman year, but no one took him seriously because he often said "really weird, random crap." She adds that he spent Wednesday "going around all day telling people that, you know, he might not be there tomorrow and not to worry about it, he might not be around for a little while." Apparently, no one acted, but a local resident did, calling 911 to report a sighting of a boy walking with a gun; police responded within a minute, adds the Californian. (Click to read about two school staffers who are being praised as heroes.)

This image provided by the Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler shows officials taping off an area outside the high school in Taft, Calif., yesterday.
This image provided by the Taft Midway Driller/Doug Keeler shows officials taping off an area outside the high school in Taft, Calif., yesterday.   (AP Photo/Taft Midway Driller, Doug Keeler)
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