2017-02-17 / Front Page
Drill team rifle sparks lockdown
“There was never an active shooter on the school campus and we didn’t recover any kind of weapon,” said Cmdr. Roy Jones of the Simi Valley Police Department. “We believe the report came from someone who isn’t familiar with the drill team or its equipment.”
Around 8:20 a.m. Feb. 15, SVPD received a report of a female carrying a long gun in some kind of wrapping or case onto the high school campus at 1402 Royal Ave., Jones said.
Within minutes, the school was placed on lockdown. Police surrounded the campus, and Royal Avenue between Crocker and Pride Streets was closed to traffic. St. Rose of Lima School, directly across the street from Royal, placed itself on a voluntary lockdown as a safety a safety precaution.
During an exhaustive search of the campus, SVPD’s SWAT team was assisted by the Los Angeles Police Department and a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Jones said.
“We also had our crisis negotiators on scene in the case that there was someone barricaded on campus, but that turned out not to be the case,” the commander said.
“With the help of the air unit, we were able to see that no one was trying to leave the campus, so we contained our search there.”
Throughout the ordeal, groups of parents gathered at both ends of the police tape on Royal Avenue and near campus gates, attempting to contact their children and get more information.
After officers searched individual classrooms and the entire campus grounds, including the stadium and play-fields, the lockdowns at both Royal and Saint Rose were lifted just before noon.
Keith Derrick, Royal’s principal, said the lockdown went “extremely well.”
“We worked with the police department and took our cues from them on what they needed us to do. We do lockdown drills all the time so that also helped,” Derrick told the Acorn.
The last lockdown at Royal High School occurred Aug. 19, the second day of the 2016-17 school year, following reports of an armed person on campus. The incident lasted about one hour and turned out to be a false alarm.
Darleen Principe contributed to this report.