A report by a male student with a gun at Santa Rosa High School led to the closure of the campus and two adjacent schools on Friday morning, marking the last day of school for thousands of students seeking protection as heavily armed officers through to the teenager.
The nearly three-hour suspension, which began shortly before 11 am, ended without firearms and injuries after the 15-year-old suspect, a Santa Rosa High freshman from Sebastopol, was detained in the nearby junior college district ,
He had been suspended from school a week ago, but was on campus to visit a friend, police captain from Santa Rosa John Cregan said, adding that he did not know the reason for suspending the student the student had taken the gun to campus to hurt anyone.
"I think that's the only thing to stress," Cregan said. "There is no evidence that he was there to use violence."
But the incident brought an otherwise festive day at the public high school in Santa Rosa to a standstill just hours before the opening ceremony for 400 older students. It also interrupted a graduation ceremony at neighboring Ridgway High and caused the officers to block access to the adjacent Santa Rosa Junior College. Thus, the largest collection of school grounds in the city, about 1
Although Friday's incident ended Some of the affected students and parents said they were worried and anxious without an outbreak of violence after learning of the potential threat on campus – a sentiment that has been spreading in recent years was compounded by the nationwide wave of school shootings.
"I was really scared," said Leslie Mendez, 18, Santa Rosa High Senior, who was in class with classmates when the lockdown began. The teachers led the assembled seniors to the gym for safety.
"I kept telling myself, 'This does not happen, it just does not happen,'" Mendez said.
The suspect, who was not identified for being a minor, was arrested by a deputy sheriff of Sonoma County Police Lieutenant Ryan Corcoran said that Beaver and Benton were stopped about four blocks east of the campus at 12:48 pm He was not found to have a gun on him, though he later told the police he had broken down a gun and dropped it off nearby McDonalds dumped in Mendocino Avenue where he was discovered before his arrest, police said.
A surveillance video showed the suspect had visited the restaurant and a realistic-looking BB gun with floral stickers and an empty magazine, Corcoran added that it was found by the police in a garbage bin in the men's bathroom.
The boy was subsequently arrested and sent to juvenile justice around Sonoma County because he was suspected of having had a gun on the school grounds.
A fellow student made the first 10:41 report, triggering a response from law enforcement agencies that had not occurred in the school's 145-year history. The witness told the school staff that he had seen another student at the school's music building holding a gun, police said.
The report was forwarded by a school official to Campus Officer Matt Crosbie of the Santa Rosa Police Department. Crosbie recognized the suspect based on the description of the witness and immediately initiated a blockage of the entire campus with 2,000 students, the police said. He called for support and ran to the music building, although the student was no longer there, the police said.