A brief “soft lockdown” at La Mesa Junior High School was lifted late Friday morning as authorities in the early afternoon continued checking into an unconfirmed report of a man with a gun near the school.
Around 11 a.m., Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies “responded immediately after the station received reports that there was someone in the neighborhood who might have had a gun,” said Dave Caldwell, spokesman for the William S. Hart Union High School District.
“A soft lockdown was implemented, the Sheriff’s Department was immediately on scene and investigated, and the lockdown was lifted at about 11:30,” Caldwell said.
“Everything fine right now at La Mesa Jr. High,” read a tweet from the Station at 11:24 a.m. Friday.
“Increased presence of deputies re: we received secondhand info that a student saw male with gun in neighborhood, not on campus,” the tweet said. “For safety, school was put on precautionary soft lockdown while deputies do protective sweep of areas.”
“We have multiple units out there checking the area,” said Lt. Leo Bauer of the SCV Sheriff’s Station at 12:45 p.m. Friday.
“All we had was second-hand information,” Bauer said. “We haven’t been able to contact the original informant so we haven’t been able to prove the veracity of the information yet.
“The school going on lockdown is standard procedure for anything such as this,” Bauer said.
In a soft lockdown, “Everybody stays in classrooms and they continue business as usual, but students are not allowed to be walking freely on campus,” he said.
“No one’s allowed in or out of the campus,” Caldwell said. “A hard lockdown is when the kids, teachers, anyone, go into a room, lock the doors, turn off the lights and basically barricade yourselves inside until you are told that it is all clear.”
As of 12:45, a normal schedule was proceeding at La Mesa, with “no change in classroom activities,” Caldwell said.