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Community Gathers To Show Support For ‘Popular’ Kern County School Shooting Victim

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TAFT (CBSLA.com) — A shocked community gathered for a vigil Friday night for the 16-year-old who was allegedly shot by a classmate at Taft Union High School in Kern County.

Officials said an unidentified gunman, 16, opened fire on Bowe Cleveland with a 12-gauge shotgun Thursday around 8:45 a.m. in a life science classroom.

Witness Amanda Lewis applauded her teacher, Ryan Heber, and fellow students for helping the victim, who was struck in the chest and the shoulder.

“When we were all together in that room….everyone was helping each other. Everybody was afraid, but everybody was helping each other. I’m glad no one was killed and Bowe is going to be okay,” she said.

Friends of Cleveland, who wished to remain unidentified, said they hope the popular, well-liked 11th grader makes a quick recovery at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield.

“Everyone loves him. He’s a happy, outgoing kind of guy,” a girl told KCAL9’s Suraya Fadel. “If you’re having a down day, Bowe is the one to be there (to say), ‘Hey, things could be worse. Let’s make the best of it.’ That’s the kind of person he is.”

Another friend said, “He was really outgoing….a really funny person. He made friends with anybody. He was just really nice.”

Dr. Ruby Skinner, Cleveland’s surgeon, said it’s a miracle he’s alive because his gunshot injures were extensive.

“He sustained potentially lethal injures to his chest and abdominal cavity,” she said.

The 16-year-old is listed in critical, but stable condition.

The suspected shooter was taken into custody and faces charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Investigators believe the gunman plotted the attack and targeted two specific students he believed bullied him.

The case has been handed over to the District Attorney’s Office.

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