Unconfirmed rumor: Taft High School shooting suspect had a ‘hit list’ last year

Since news broke of this morning’s shooting at Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., Twitter has been flooded with rumors from Taft students and members of the community. One rumor that persists is that the shooter had a “hit list” last year.

Brian Oliver has been named by several students as the shooting suspect in custody, but that has not been confirmed. (Update: The correct spelling of Oliver’s first name appears to be “Bryan.”)

Authorities have also not confirmed that Bowe Cleveland, the person named in the previous tweet, is indeed one of the shooting victims.

The Kern County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that the suspect was a student, as was one of the victims. Was the suspect’s past behavior not taken seriously enough?

Twitchy will monitor the rumors and provide confirmation when it becomes available.


Some Twitter users are suggesting that the suspect was suspended for the hit list incident.


Some Twitter users are posting this photo. Twitchy cannot confirm that this is the alleged shooter.


Update, January 11th, 6:26 a.m. ET:

KGET is reporting that Bryan Oliver is the name of the suspected shooter.

USA Today is reporting that Bowe Cleveland was the student who was shot.

These reports are consistent with what Twitchy reported early yesterday afternoon.

  • Joe W.

    But the gun is the problem, eh?? Not the fact that the kid had made a hit list and threats and the school and parents did zip…nada…nothing?? Wonder if he looks like Obama’s son??

    • journogal

      Perps are ALWAYS the victim…

    • R0nin

      But we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, or assume that the rumors are true, until we have confirmation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marcy-Cook/1001619613 Marcy Cook

    More importantly: what the heck is a foods class?

    Kevin Chavez:This is crazy I sat next to the kid last year in foods class when He made that hit list and everything.

    • walterc

      I’m guessing it’s a cooking class.

      This is probably about a kid that’s spent a good portion of his school years being picked on. I would have thought that when he made a hit list, someone in authority might I have taken a look into the situation and dealt with it. Jr High and High school is like a jungle, the population is made up of predators and prey. As it was I was prey and I suspect this kid was too. But unlike now days, I was allowed to lose at dodge ball and little league so that rather than getting a gun and shooting up the place, I learned to respond to bullying by walking away and ignoring it and striving to achieve success at whatever I set out to do.

  • GaryTheBrave

    There’s a clue for the lib trolls. WAKE UP!! If someone has a hit list then get him the he!! outta there!

    This is the ABSOLUTE FAULT of the school. It’s time to ban schools. They cannot keep students safe. Someone (several) need to lose their job(s). Unions be d@mned.

    I notice that the usual crisis-mongrels haven’t popped their heads out of their holes to demand “reasonable” gun laws. They likely realized that someone dropped the ball.

  • spark425

    I’m from Taft. A close friend of the families daughter over heard the shooter before Christmas break saying he was going to bring a gun to school. She then had a meeting with the school and was told there is nothing to worry about everything is ok. And they did nothing about it. The school, my former school, could have prevented this. They are equally to blame!!!

  • dml1942

    I bet that butterball had Aspergers.

    • nobullyzone

      Butterball??!! wow! Exactly why he probably had a hit list. The school is to blame knowing he was obviously under mental crisis from years previous. They turn their heads rather than take action until something such as this occurs.

      • John

        Honestly, whether he was on medication should be addressed. Nearly every mass shooting gunman was hopped up on pills. We should be blaming the psychiatric industry rather than the NRA. It’s what’s in these kids’ heads that matters.

        • m&m

          Where is your evidence? We blame the NRA because they breed fear that the Government is trying to take all there guns away. They blame everybody else and take no responsibility when things go wrong. They produce lame brained ideas. They fight against any agency that has the facts that prove them wrong. If they are so right why did they pressure the congress to block funding to research gun violence. They are hiding the truth. the truth they don’t want you to know. The true that guns encourage people to be violent. Any reduction of gun deaths is because hospital and doctors have been force to learn how to save the victims. Or because government agencies have been working with high risk individuals to create safer workplaces, namely cab drivers and late night operations.

          Where has the NRA been? Creating fear.

  • Yang Jiansheng

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