Student and teacher injured in US school shooting

Injured at school shooting California Photo: NBC News

Two people were injured at a shooting in a school in rural California, after a student opened fire during class.

A 16-year-old was wounded in the attack, and is in a critical but stable condition, according to police.

The student fired at another student but missed according to officials.

A teacher suffered minor head wounds in the attack, which took place as class started in Taft Union High School, in Kern, southern California.

The suspected shooter is a 16-year-old boy who has been taken into custody, according to police.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said the teacher tried to get other students in the class out of the door, before engaging the young gunman in conversation to distract him, and convinced him to put down the gun.

Taft Police Chief Ed Whiting said the quick actions of the teacher diffused what could have been a tragic event:

We really want to commend a teacher and campus supervisor who brought this to a fast resolution.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy paid tribute to the injured teacher:

The actions that the teacher took saved lives and protected many.

The shooting comes less than a month after a gunman massacred 20 children and six women at Sandy Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, before killing himself.

Read More: 27 killed in elementary school shooting in Connecticut.

Police rushed to the scene to secure each room of the school
Police rushed to the scene to secure each room of the school Credit: NBC News

As news of the shooting spread through local media, frantic parents drove to the school to see their children. Dana Pryor, who has two children at the school, told The Bakersfield Californian:

I panicked. I wanted to puke and just get here.

Youngblood said there is usually an armed Taft Police Department officer on campus, but he was not there Thursday because he had been snowed in.

Hundreds of family members and locals from the nearby area descended on the school to tearfully wait for their children.

Worried families rushed to collect their children
Worried families rushed to collect their children Credit: NBC News

ABC News affiliate 23ABC News, said terrified students alerted them to the shooting as they hid inside the school.