Schools on lockdown in response to armed robbery

After receiving a report of criminal activity in the area, school administrators called a lockdown around 9 a.m. on Nov. 17, according to Steve Lepire, principal. The lockdown was issued by the Ventura County Sheriff Department. It was later found out that there had been an armed robbery at the CVS near the intersection of Reino Road and Kimber Drive. Police officers and a helicopter patrolled the area to locate the robber. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office now has two suspects in custody.

Cypress Elementary School, Maple Elementary School, EARTHS, Walnut Elementary School, Sequoia Middle School, and Banyan Elementary School went on lockdown as well. Parents were notified through emails and phone calls from the district. The email stated that “ALL students are safe and accounted for. The safety of our students is our top priority.” Parents were informed not to call the school so that phone lines could remain open for emergency communication with authorities.

The announcement informing students about the lockdown did not include information about the robbery, leading many to worry that there was an intruder on campus. “My immediate response was that I was terrified. I assumed it was an active shooter,” Ashley Mansour, senior, said. Olivia Schroeder, senior, added, that during the lockdown “any little noises that we heard freaked us out.”

Teachers followed protocol to keep students safe. Earlier this year, teachers were trained that the best response to an active shooter is to run. Because of this, Matt LaRocca, history teacher, led his students off campus, according to Mikey Moss, senior. After the lockdown, Tiffani Coull, history teacher, tweeted pictures showing the make-shift bathroom her students created by hanging curtains. Lorena Caulfield, health teacher, tweeted that her Sports Medicine class colored and played cards to help students remain calm.

The lockdown was lifted at 10:15 and students continued on to their next classes.

“The threat was no longer immediate to our area,” Kelly Welch, assistant principal, announced over the loudspeaker. “We were not in an active shooter situation. We were on a lockdown from advice of the police department.”

No students or faculty on campus were in immediate danger.


This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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