Wounded Student Sues School After Shooting

     BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (CN) – A Taft High School student sued the school district for a January shooting that critically wounded him with a shotgun blast in his science class.
     The wounded student, Bowe Cleveland, sued Taft Union High School District, its Superintendent William McDermott, principal Marilyn Brown and assistant principal Rona Angelo, in Kern County Court.
     Cleveland was shot by a classmate on Jan. 10 in the school on the southern edge of the San Joaquin Valley, north of Bakersfield.
     Cleveland claims the school district denied their request to see documents of an alleged hit list compiled by the student gunman, the family’s attorney Daniel Rodriguez told 23 ABC-KERO Bakersfield News.
     Cleveland was shot on the morning of Jan. 10 when a lone gunman entered his first-period science classroom with a 12-guage shotgun and opened fire. The teacher was grazed in the head, but no one else other than Cleveland was injured and no one died, the Bakersfield Californian reported at the time.
     The shooter, 16-year-old Bryan Oliver, was tardy to class and got onto campus through an unlocked side entrance, according to the Californian.
     “The first victim was shot after he stood up. Frightened classmates ran to the back of the room, and others ran into a storage closet,” the Californian reported.
     “The suspect allegedly shot at them as they fled, but missed,” the article added.
     Superintendant Kim Fields called the police after hearing shots fired. He rushed to the classroom, where he and the teacher, Ryan Heber, talked to Oliver and persuaded him to put down the gun, according to the article.
     Neither Fields nor Heber are parties to the complaint.
     “Plaintiff was shot in the upper body during his first period class by fellow student Bryan Oliver,” the complaint states.
     Cleveland was taken to a hospital, where he “underwent emergency surgery and [was] placed into a medically induced coma while in critical condition,” according to the complaint.
     Cleveland claims the school district knew before the shooting that Oliver “was dangerous, violent, aggressive, threatening and/or menacing toward fellow students at Taft Union High School.”
     He claims that Oliver often threatened him and other students with “bodily harm, shooting, and/or killing,” and that students “reported said threats to defendants on various occasions, and/or identified Bryan Oliver as the person responsible for making said threats.”
     But the school district allowed Oliver on campus despite his history of aggression and violence, Cleveland says, putting him and other students at risk: “Defendants inadequately and improperly responded, failed to respond and/or inadequately and improperly controlled, supervised, counseled, monitored, disciplined, warned, failed to warn, failed to supervise, and/or take adequate precautions in connection with such danger, aggression, threats, menace and/or violence.”
     Cleveland claims the school district knew that Oliver had written a hit list the previous year with almost 30 names on it, including Cleveland’s, but failed to warn the students or their parents about it.
     He claims the school district failed to take “adequate precautions” to protect other students from Oliver, by failing to lock the gates and to have an armed security officer on campus.
     Oliver would not have been able to come onto campus with a gun “had the assigned police officer been present” and if the “exterior fence surrounding the campus had been locked,” the complaint states.
     The officer was not on campus that morning because he had been snowed in, and there was no one else to call as a substitute, the Bakersfield Californian reported.
     Cleveland says he suffered “severe, life threatening, and debilitating injuries [and] continues to undergo extensive hospital treatment” because of the shooting.
     He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and is permanently disabled from the injuries, the complaint states.
     He seeks damages for negligence, premises liability and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and medical expenses.
     He is represented by Daniel Rodriguez.

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