Man with gun seen on MH campus by two 1st graders

Morgan Hill
– A report by two first-grade girls of an adult with a gun led
to a 20-minute lockdown at Los Paseos Elementary and Martin Murphy
Middle schools.
Students were kept behind locked doors Wednesday while San Jose
police searched the area. After no one with a gun was found in the
area, authorities allowed school activities to resume as
scheduled.
Morgan Hill – A report by two first-grade girls of an adult with a gun led to a 20-minute lockdown at Los Paseos Elementary and Martin Murphy Middle schools.

Students were kept behind locked doors Wednesday while San Jose police searched the area. After no one with a gun was found in the area, authorities allowed school activities to resume as scheduled.

“We had 15 patrol cars here in a matter of minutes,” said Los Paseos Principal Robert Davis. “I was so impressed by their response.”

The two schools are the northernmost in the district, which extends into south San Jose. At 12:20pm, the girls told a yard supervisor they saw two adults, one with a handgun and the other with a skateboard, at the far end of campus.

The supervisor notified Davis who had the estimated 200 youngsters immediately enter the nearest classroom. Davis also notified San Jose Police and Los Paseos Principal Rhoda Wolfskehl.

Letters notifying parents of the incident were sent home that day.

Meanwhile, students, staff and neighbors of Luigi Aprea Elementary School have settled back into their routines after the school was locked down for about an hour Thursday, Jan. 13, and are being praised for their calm reactions during the incident.

Gilroy police have not made any arrests following a reported sighting by two students of a man with a handgun on the campus that afternoon.

“We’re still on the lookout for anyone matching that description in the area, or suspicious subjects or activity in that area,” said Sgt. John Sheedy.

The two fourth-grade students, who said they saw the man point a handgun toward the multi-purpose room, described the man as black, in his mid-20s, of average height and medium build.

During their investigation, Sheedy said officers interviewed “many students” who also saw the man on campus. The students had reportedly seen the man run south through the play areas along Calle Del Rey toward residences along the street. Police searched the school, neighborhood, and nearby Pacific West Christian Academy last Thursday, but found no suspects. Patrols in the area were increased following the incident.

Sheedy said speaking with the small population of black students at the school to determine if the incident could have arisen from a domestic dispute was “not an issue.” About 15 of the school’s 716 students are black, according to statistics on the California Department of Education Web site.

Gilroy Unified School District is mailing a letter from Superintendent Edwin Diaz and Police Chief Gregg Giusiana to Luigi Aprea parents and neighboring residents, praising all parties for their conduct during the lockdown.

The letter also commended students for not starting rumors or exaggerating the situation.

Reaction to Luigi Aprea’s lockdown stood in stark contrast to the reaction at Gilroy High School last spring, when that campus was locked down after students called the school and directly threatened a teacher. The serious nature of that threat prompted a three-hour lockdown, during which panicked students and parents exchanged a flurry of cell phone calls and text messages, spreading rumors in and out of the campus.

An investigation led to the arrest of three GHS students for that incident, after police traced the cell phone call.

More than 73 percent of 119 respondents to a Gilroy Dispatch Web poll said the school district should put security cameras in all schools. Currently, only GHS and Ascencion Solorsano Middle School have cameras.

Leave your comments