False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown title=
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown
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Bearcat and SWAT Team outside San Marcos HIih School (Photo: John Palminteri/KEYT)
Update and below photos by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
4:40 p.m., February 5, 2019

False Alarm at San Marcos High School Highlights Effective Enhanced Safety Protocols

At approximately 9:50 a.m. this morning, February 5, 2019, a San Marcos High School student reported what appeared to be a man with a gun in a parking lot near the gym. The campus was immediately placed on lockdown. Sheriff’s deputies responded to the school within minutes and begin searching for the suspect who was described as a white male adult wearing a grey suit. A Santa Barbara County Sheriff/Fire Air Support helicopter responded as well as several K9 teams. Sheriff’s deputies secured a perimeter and were assisted by personnel from the UCSB Police Department, Santa Barbara Police Department and California Highway Patrol. The Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team and Santa Barbara Police SWAT Team were also deployed.

Sheriff’s deputies worked closely with Santa Barbara Unified School District officials to ensure the students were safe. Within the hour, Sheriff’s deputies were able to contact the male subject and determine that he was not armed. The item he was seen holding was actually a radiator hose. He had innocently pulled into the parking lot when his car experienced mechanical problems. Once it was determined there was no threat, the lockdown was lifted.

The Sheriff’s Office wants to take this opportunity to praise the student who saw something suspicious and reported the incident to school officials right away. Her swift response enabled law enforcement and school administrators to immediately initiate Standard Response Protocols. We also thank the students and staff at San Marcos High School for being calm and for following instructions rehearsed during lockdown drills. This successful outcome is directly related to the practice of lockdown drills.

We are pleased this situation came to a quick and safe resolution and we thank everyone involved for their collaboration and cooperation.


Update by edhat staff
11:30 a.m., February 5, 2019
 
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office reports a safe resolution to the lockdown at San Marcos High School. 
 
The suspect allegedly seen holding a gun was actually holding a radiator hose after his car had broken down. The Sheriff's Office reports it was a big misunderstanding and thanks "the student for doing the right thing and reporting incident right away."
 
Everyone is safe and all law enforcement units have returned to service.

Update by edhat staff
10:30 a.m., February 5, 2019

Around 9:45 a.m., edhat's very own Roger the Scanner Guy reported San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara was being placed on lockdown due to a report of someone seen with a gun.

Law enforcement quickly responded to the scene to search for a suspect the scanner reports described as a white male in his 30's with light brown hair possibly wearing a grey suit and/or khaki's, holding a pistol. The corner of Turnpike and on Hollister Ave have been shut down.

At 10:18 a.m., Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office confirmed San Marcos High School is on lockdown and are investigating a report of a subject with a gun. 

At 10:45 a.m., the Sheriff's Office also confirmed the suspicious circumstances stating a student reported a subject with a gun in the parking lot.  There are no reports of shots fired or any injuries.

Parents are asked to avoid the area since campus is on lockdown while deputies investigate.


Reported by Roger the Scanner Guy
9:48 a.m., February 5, 2019

Report of a subject with a gun in the 4700 Block of Hollister, subject possibly holding a pistol. San Marcos High School ON LOCK DOWN.

Updated information provided by Roger in the below comments:

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163 Comments

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Abc109 Feb 07, 2019 10:23 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

No, it's not, and your use of the term "nowadays" means that you are woefully out of touch. There were 24 school shooting just last year that resulted in injury or death. This is not your "good old days," Grandpa. Those are long, long gone.

Luvaduck Feb 06, 2019 12:15 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

At the very least, an excellent simulation exercise for coordinating emergency response teams and school. The history of mass murders has soared and it behooves the public to err on the side of caution in this way.

PitMix Feb 06, 2019 02:21 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

SWAT has helmets but probably field deputies don't carry them. Hard to protect everything like face and neck but still retain mobility and visibility. Still waiting for robocops.

a-1575626548 Feb 06, 2019 09:43 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Please keep that child in school, I do not want them out in public as they are a danger to them self. Also, bring autoshop back to public schools as a mandatory class... is this really our future?

sb93105 Feb 06, 2019 07:00 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

I noticed our schools have not installed any exterior security cameras - seems that this could have been figured out easily prior to causing so much fear and anxiety to so many ?

Abc109 Feb 07, 2019 10:17 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Don't take it personally. There are only one or two serial down-voters with multiple accounts and too few meaningful hobbies. Their sole purpose is to try to get under your skin. It's sad, really.

sb93105 Feb 07, 2019 09:14 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

I'm wondering what part of my comment someone would vote down? The part where i cried? Kids where in closets and under desks ? or the part where there was a threat on my kids birthday? interesting community we have eeeehhhhh? weird-

sb93105 Feb 06, 2019 09:49 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

What was the cost for a full police response? 4.2 million is not a lot of money- honestly the district would probably spend double that with the way they handle their budget-lol

mm1970 Feb 06, 2019 09:44 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Security camera systems aren't cheap. Plus you have to consider storage. A little googling on "how much would it cost to add security systems to schools" (because: it's a hot topic right now) came up with some sites. Upon reading them, the estimate of $ to put in a "Tier 2" security system (Tier 1 being lowest, and Tier 4 being highest level of security) is $200,000 for K-8 schools and $244,000 for HS. (This includes *some* security cameras and limited storage). That comes out to a cost of $4.2 million for SBUSD. On top of the fact that recently, the state ordered SBUSD to pay $1.3 million to the Olive Grove Charter School (which SB and other districts refused to charter but the state allowed).

Factotum Feb 06, 2019 09:14 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Why are our schools "struggling". They get plenty of money. Perhaps the issue is how their bargaining groups choose to allocate that money. Campus security or infrastructure is not high on their list. But it is myth to say they are "struggling".

sb93105 Feb 06, 2019 08:43 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

good points - not sure if you have kids at the school? But the 2 hours felt like eternity- 1,000's of people stopped their day - i cried i was calm i thought it was a mistake i assumed it would be okay - my work stopped my schedule stopped- kids were in closets and under desks - i kept reading my daughters text " we are in lock down there is a gunman". Last year SMHS sent out a notice that someone threatened to shoot up the school (on my daughters birthday) - one can never be too careful, i get it - but cameras are essential aspect of security and determining who and what is around, I'm so tired of hearing about the schools money issues- the public school system has more money then you think -clearly nobody was around to physically see some dude just trying to fix his car- ?

sb93105 Feb 06, 2019 08:44 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

good points - not sure if you have kids at the school? But the 2 hours felt like eternity- 1,000's of people stopped their day - i cried i was calm i thought it was a mistake i assumed it would be okay - my work stopped my schedule stopped- kids were in closets and under desks - i kept reading my daughters text " we are in lock down there is a gunman". Last year SMHS sent out a notice that someone threatened to shoot up the school (on my daughters birthday) - one can never be too careful, i get it - but cameras are essential aspect of security and determining who and what is around, I'm so tired of hearing about the schools money issues- the public school system has more money then you think -clearly nobody was around to physically see some dude just trying to fix his car- ?

sb93105 Feb 06, 2019 08:43 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

good points - not sure if you have kids at the school? But the 2 hours felt like eternity- 1,000's of people stopped their day - i cried i was calm i thought it was a mistake i assumed it would be okay - my work stopped my schedule stopped- kids were in closets and under desks - i kept reading my daughters text " we are in lock down there is a gunman". Last year SMHS sent out a notice that someone threatened to shoot up the school (on my daughters birthday) - one can never be too careful, i get it - but cameras are essential aspect of security and determining who and what is around, I'm so tired of hearing about the schools money issues- the public school system has more money then you think -clearly nobody was around to physically see some dude just trying to fix his car- ?

a-1575626548 Feb 06, 2019 08:11 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

I'm torn on this issue - yes, they're nice to have. They also come with stringent legal requirements for keeping the video data for a certain number of years, which can become VERY costly, high quality video is one the most memory intensive filetypes. Our schools are already struggling, I don't think this would enhance the learning environment at all, even safety-wise. A posted sheriff's deputy does much more for safety, especially immediate safety, which is much more important than solving a case quickly. A couple of hours to sort it out sounds very reasonable to me.

a-1575626548 Feb 05, 2019 07:09 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

I think that this incident shows us how easily cops can mistake things such as wallets, cell phones, and other items as guns. The fellow fixing his car must be scratching his head wondering why he was reported. On the other hand, the cops could have taken the report as accurate/gospel, and come out blazing. A few weeks ago we saw a body covered on the freeway near Calabasas because he did pull out a gun, and paid the ultimate price. Just think if he had been holding a radiator hose instead? Thank goodness everyone is A-OK.

sb93105 Feb 05, 2019 06:07 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

while i applaud the response and how it was handled it certainly was a stressful 2 hours for everyone i can't help but wonder why they could not have identified the fact that a "guy" was just working on his broken down car sooner then 2 hours? Did the guy not notice the response? did anyone not see him working on the car while they were securing campus? Something seems amiss-

a-1575626548 Feb 06, 2019 08:15 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

If he already identified the problem and had the radiator hose out of the car when it was phoned in, he was probably well on his way to leaving to find a new one.

a-1575626548 Feb 05, 2019 05:26 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Community: False Alarm at San Marcos High School Highlights Effective Enhanced Safety Protocols At approximately 9:50 a.m. this morning, February 5, 2019, a San Marcos High School student reported what appeared to be a man with a gun in a parking lot near the gym. The campus was immediately placed on lockdown. Sheriff’s deputies responded to the school within minutes and begin searching for the suspect who was described as a white male adult wearing a grey suit. A Santa Barbara County Sheriff/Fire Air Support helicopter responded as well as several K9 teams. Sheriff’s deputies secured a perimeter and were assisted by personnel from the UCSB Police Department, Santa Barbara Police Department and California Highway Patrol. The Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team and Santa Barbara Police SWAT Team were also deployed. Sheriff’s deputies worked closely with Santa Barbara Unified School District officials to ensure the students were safe. Within the hour, Sheriff’s deputies were able to contact the male subject and determine that he was not armed. The item he was seen holding was actually a radiator hose. He had innocently pulled into the parking lot when his car experienced mechanical problems. Once it was determined there was no threat, the lockdown was lifted. The Sheriff’s Office wants to take this opportunity to praise the student who saw something suspicious and reported the incident to school officials right away. Her swift response enabled law enforcement and school administrators to immediately initiate Standard Response Protocols. We also thank the students and staff at San Marcos High School for being calm and for following instructions rehearsed during lockdown drills. This successful outcome is directly related to the practice of lockdown drills. We are pleased this situation came to a quick and safe resolution and we thank everyone involved for their collaboration and cooperation.

a-1575626548 Feb 05, 2019 01:11 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Two different times, there was a report of gun on campus at SMHS. One today, and one 4 or 5 years ago. Both times, parents rushed to area where I live and got tangled up in the Puente maze, trying to get to Hollister. For future (hope not) emergencies, parents try parking at Page Youth Center, 4540 Hollister, and walk 1 block Hollister to Puente. You'll be less panicked if you know where to go and not get inextricably lost in the Puente Maze. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with all this. I didn't have to when my kids were in school many moons ago. You are brave. Your children are brave.

a-1575626548 Feb 05, 2019 08:57 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Agree! All 3 of my kids went to San Marcos High School and although I know that there were dramas on campus I also did not have to encounter any of this type of thing happening. There were lockdowns a couple of times though and that was because of homeless fights over by Vons where a knife was shown but I was never in fear of a shooter on campus. It is scary and my heart goes out to the kids, faculty and to the worried families!

a-1575626548 Feb 06, 2019 08:32 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

At 8:17 - then you read it wrong. It was in response to someone jokingly saying they can't "work on my car without being mistaken for a weapon." Context people, context. But it's not all your fault - it's near impossible to properly "reply" to comments here.

Potif Feb 05, 2019 12:21 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Not a good time for joking. As far as where a car decides to quit running, and need repair, that is usually not up to the driver. And, I doubt if he/she thought it would create such a problem to fix it there.

a-1575626548 Feb 05, 2019 12:13 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

How about you just avoid "working on your car" in a high school parking lot while class is in session? This is no joke. Our society has changed, due to the rampant school shootings. ALWAYS better safe than sorry!

4358ed Feb 05, 2019 12:09 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Happy news and an unfortunate commentary on society today (it's a gun... which it very well could've been). I remember way back in the 90's, my wife and I were walking, window shopping in downtown LA . Suddenly this guy walks around the corner towards us holding a video tape case. My wife bolted into a store certain he had a gun of some sort. After retrieving her (literally kneeling behind a shelf) I suggested next time she try the decaf. All is well that ends well. Thank you LEO's for your outstanding service.

Abc109 Feb 05, 2019 11:59 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

I'm not mad at the call or the response. Given the number of shootings that happen almost daily in this country, THIS IS the reality that our kids live in today. Pull your heads out of the sand. Rather than be angry at the reporting party for his/her error, you should be deeply disturbed by the society that has accepted this kind of fear of violence as the presumptive norm.

a-1575626548 Feb 05, 2019 11:54 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

A locked campus sure sounds nice! Kids would feel safer, parentw would feel safer... SM is so open and easy to access the campus and there are lockdowns every time homeless have a fight in Granny Field where a knife is reported. It's giving everyone ptsd and this situation really highlights the fear that our kids have where they don't feel safe at school and are overreacting and calling 911 without having security investigate it first. Overblown response but better safe than sorry for sure.

a-1575626548 Feb 05, 2019 08:59 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Many schools have secure campuses and it helps to keep the bad guys out and makes it easier for security to monitor things. Nothing to do with a border wall.

Factotum Feb 05, 2019 04:40 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

Locked campus will not work and is immoral. Even though Granny's Field is not sending their best people. The extreme xenophobia demonstrated against a white male wearing a suit with car problems should give one pause.

a-1575626548 Feb 05, 2019 04:08 PM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

FACTOTUM so the reason some people do not want locked campuses is because it is inhumane and a waste of money? And the argument FOR having locked campuses is that it would stop illegal immigration? I'm not sure I'm following....

a-1575626548 Feb 05, 2019 11:35 AM
False Alarm Puts San Marcos High School on Lockdown

John Palminteri interviewed the security chief for the school district who said that the guy's car had a problem and he pulled into the round-about. When he got out of the car he had his cell phone in his hand. The students saw this strange car and person, and saw the phone and said it looked like a gun and called police. The security chief said that it worked the way it was supposed to. Always call if you are concerned. It's ok, according to him.

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