Taft Union issues statement after $3.8 million damage award in 2013 school shooting
A Kern County Superior Court Jury awarded Bowe Cleveland, who was shot in a Taft Union High School classroom six years ago, $3.8 million on Wednesday, a week after finding the high school and some of its employees were negligent.
Cleveland's attorney, Daniel Rodriquez, had asked for $44.8 million in damages for past and future injuries and suffering Cleveland.
Leonard Herr, the attorney representing TUHS in the civil trial, recommended the jury award Cleveland $1.13 million
Taft Union High School released a statement from Superintendent Blanca Cavazos released a written statement after the damages were announced, ending the litigation between Cleveland and the District.
"Our entire community has felt the pain of Bryan Oliver’s actions since he made the decision to shoot Bowe Cleveland in Jan. of 2013," Cavazos said. "There are simply no winners in this case. Today’s verdict allows us to continue our healing as a community, and we, likewise, hope it will allow Mr. Cleveland and his family to do the same. While we continue healing as a community, over the past few years, we’ve also learned and grown in our approach to ensure the safest learning environment for our students, staff and faculty. We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting everyone in our community. "
During arguments about the money that should be awarded for his injuries, the Leonard Herr, the attorney who represented TUHS in the civil trial, recommended the jury award Cleveland $1.13 million.
The suit stemmed from the January 13 shooting in the science building. Oliver shot Cleveland in the shoulder at close range with a shotgun.
Oliver at first pleadedto the criminal charges, but, after a mistrial, entered a no contest plea in January 2014 to two counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to 27 years and four months in prison.