Report of Gunman Leads to Oakland School Evacuation

Oakland police responded in force following 911 call.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Jan 31, 2011  |  Updated 6:08 PM PDT
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Report of Gunman Leads to Oakland School Evacuation

NBC Bay Area

Oakland police responded in force to La Escuelita elementary school on 3rd Avenue just after 1 p.m. Monday after a caller reported seeing an armed man enter one of the classrooms, according to police. 

Police searched the campus for hours, but no gunman has been found.

This is how the Oakland police explained the incident:

 

This afternoon at approximately 12:44 P.M. a man called the Oakland Police and stated that he witnessed an armed gunmen enter a classroom at the La Escuelita School located in the 1100 Blk of 3rd 3rd Ave. Oakland Police Officers, California Highway patrol Officers, Oakland Unified School District Police and Oakland Fire Department responded to the scene and surrounded the school. The children were successfully evacuated to a safe room in the building. Once all of the children were accounted for they were reunited with their families. Oakland Police Tactical Team members responded to the scene and cleared the entire school. No gunman was located. The investigation is on-going but at this time there is no evidence that a gunman entered the school property and the call appears to be false. The Oakland Unified school District will have counselors on site tomorrow to meet with the children. This multi-agency coordinated effort came to a safe and peaceful conclusion.

 

Our news helicopter flew over the school and showed students being quickly moved across the playground from portable classrooms and into a large building in the early minutes following the reported gunman.

The school is right next to Laney College.

Police, with guns and rifles in hand, stayed on campus much of Monday afternoon.   They appeared to be in a holding pattern for the first hour with students apparently in some kind of lockdown inside some of the classrooms and police surrounding the campus outside.

Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts arrived on the scene just before 2:30 p.m.

An armored-like tank arrived soon after.

A little before 3 p.m. fully armed officers, went into the remaining classrooms that held students and released students who ran from their room, past the armored vehicle and into a playground area.

Parents by the dozens were kept area in a safe area away from the school to wait for their children to be released to them.  Many of the children appeared frightened and were covering their face as they ran.

It took hours for the students to reunite with their parents. Many of the adults were frustrated with the amount of time it took to get together with their children.

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