Branciforte Middle School in Santa Cruz was placed on lockdown Wednesday afternoon after a gun was found in a trash can on campus, police and school administrators said.
Santa Cruz police said the lockdown was placed out of caution, adding that there was no threat to students or staff. The gun, an AR 7, which was disassembled inside of a bag, was found by a school staff member who initially thought it was a bag of trash, according to Santa Cruz City School District Superintendent Kris Munro. The rifle was unloaded, Munro said.
No ammunition was found, she said.
The lockdown took place between 12:45 p.m. and 1 p.m., and students were then released because Wednesday was a half day. Parents were sent an automated message which said that the school was on lockdown and that students would be released one class at a time.
Some students remained on campus because of scheduled after-school activities. Students said they were not given the reason for the lockdown.
As a precaution, police conducted a search of the campus and found nothing, Munro said.