Two arrested after school lockdown

July 18, 2008 6:24:38 PM PDT
More than 900 students had to be evacuated by bus, after police searched for the reported gun. It took nearly five hours to get the kids out, because they were taken out class by class at Pinole Valley High School. Two students have been arrested.

Pinole Police say the students they arrested are juveniles who they believe are connected with the gun seen on a bus that carried students to the campus on Friday morning.

Pinole police and six other police agencies searched the entire school for the weapon for about six hours, and came away empty-handed.

More than 50 police officers from six different agencies responded on Friday morning. Officers swarmed into Pinole Valley High School searching for a weapon that a summer school student told officials he saw another student carrying on the bus to school.

"The student did provide identification, a description of the individual he said was carrying the gun," said the district's spokesperson Paul Ihara.

Officers and school officials locked down the campus and began searching each student and each classroom looking for the gun and the individual who fit the description of the student seen with the weapon.

As each classroom was cleared, the students were loaded onto West Cat busses and taken to Collins Elementary School less than a mile away.

There, anxious parents waited to pick up their children and sort through rumors to find out what really happened.

"He heard there were no guns, I heard there were two people shot," said parent Jewel Sayre.

"You're' just happy that they're safe and I just thank god that they are," said parent Sandra Cerda.

Students say that the threat of a gun was frightening so was the presence of so many police officers.

"I was like kind of scared because they searched me and the class and I heard there were people with guns on campus," said summer school student Melissa Gillman.

Asia Lewis was furious that a student would scare and inconvenience so many other people.

"I think it's ridiculous to bring a gun to school. It doesn't make any sense put all these kids in this situation right now, and also some kids were scared and stuff," said Lewis.

School officials say that their emergency plan worked, along with help from various police agencies. Police are now confident they have two suspects involved with the gun but not the weapon itself.

"We think we have the people who brought the weapon on campus and were involved with it," said Commander Pete Janke from the Pinole Police Department.

Police said there was a small window of opportunity between the time when gun was reported to be on campus, and when the campus was locked down. That's when police say it may have been possible that someone may have taken that gun off campus.

While police did not find the gun, they said they did find contraband in some of the student's backpacks like some narcotics. The investigation continues.


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