STEFANIE DAZIO and JANIE HAR
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A gunman and his accomplice have been arrested in a shooting just outside a Northern California high school Tuesday that wounded a teenager and locked down thousands of students and staffers in a complex with three schools for hours, authorities said.
Detectives were interviewing the pair after the shooting on the sidewalk outside Ridgway High School in Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco, police Sgt. Summer Gloeckner said. Police have not released a motive.
The gunman was caught on the school campus after a less than two-hour manhunt, police Capt. John Cregan said at a news conference. It was not immediately clear where the second suspect was arrested or what role he had in the attack.
Witnesses told police that the shooter fired three to four rounds before running onto the campus after classes began, authorities said. A 17-year-old boy was shot once in the abdomen and was in stable condition.
“We’re not sure if the suspect and victim knew each other,” Gloeckner said.
Parents described the panic of getting text messages from their kids and not knowing if they were safe. One mother, Cherie Posluszny, said her 17-year-old daughter texted just after 9:40 a.m.
“Someone got shot,” the first message said, followed up a minute later by: “I love you.”
“Someone is at Ridgway,” read the next message. Then her daughter’s phone stopped working. She found a friend’s phone and her mother asked if she was OK.
“Not really. But I will be OK,” her daughter responded. The girl told her mother that she spent hours lying on the cold floor hiding behind a teacher’s desk with other students.
Posluszny said she worried about how this “new normal” was affecting children.
“This is becoming routine. It’s part of the culture now. These kids are also victims,” she said as she raced to the school.
Police said the shooting was originally reported on the Ridgway High campus just before 9 a.m. but now say it was on the sidewalk just outside the school. It is part of a sprawling complex that also includes Santa Rosa High School, Santa Rosa Junior College, school district offices and athletic fields.
The complex with thousands of students, teachers, administrators and others was locked down as a SWAT team searched for the gunman, Cregan said.
TV footage from a helicopter showed a boy or man being led away in handcuffs while students were taken out of a building and searched. Authorities were still looking for the shooter’s handgun.
Police, who are getting help from the FBI, lifted the lockdown around 11:30 a.m. following a “thorough sweep” of the schools, saying on Twitter that “there is no threat.”
School district officials referred questions to police but tweeted that “students are safe.”
Ridgway High, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) north of San Francisco, is an alternative continuation school for Santa Rosa High.
STEFANIE DAZIO and JANIE HAR