California School Gunman ‘Planned Attack’

One person has been wounded in a shooting at a high school in California, as Vice President Joe Biden said he would provide the president with recommendations to curb gun violence in the next five days.

The victim was airlifted from Taft Union High School, about 120 miles north of Los Angeles, to hospital in nearby Bakersfield.

The suspected gunman, a student at the school, was arrested about 20 minutes after the shooting, said Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.

The victim’s condition was not immediately known. Mr Pruitt said a shotgun was used in the attack.

Local news media reported receiving phone calls from people who were hidden in closets inside the school.

Mr Biden has been meeting groups ranging from victims of gun violence to members of America’s powerful gun lobby as the country considers its response to the Newtown school massacre, which left 26 people dead.

“I have committed to him I will have his recommendations to him by Tuesday,” Biden said on Thursday, ahead of a meeting with sportsman and hunting organisations.

Mr Biden said the recommendations would be ideas gleaned from the various groups he has been meeting with in recent weeks. 

He hinted that his ideas could include new restrictions on high capacity ammunition magazines and more comprehensive background checks for gun buyers.

The Vice President is due to talk with representatives from the National Rifle Association, which opposes reforms like the reinstatement of an assault weapons ban – and has called for armed guards in all US schools.

Biden and other White House officials have also met mental health advocates to try to figure out how to make it harder for disturbed people to get firearms.

On Wednesday Mr Biden said Mr Obama may take executive action intended to prevent gun attacks.

Mr Biden’s involvement in this task force comes in response to the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where 20 children and six staff members were killed by a 20-year-old gunman. 

Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14 after killing his mother, Nancy Lanza, at her home. He later killed himself.

He had taken his mother’s guns, including a rifle which fires 20 to 30 rounds at a fast pace.

The AR-15 style rifle Lanza used is America’s most popular rifle. It is also the weapon most commonly used in mass shootings in the US and is the same as the one used by the gunman in the cinema shooting in Aurora, Colorado.