The search for a murder suspect involved guns drawn, schools on lockdown and a community basically shut down in Tierrasanta. NBC 7's Greg Bledsoe reports.
After an hours-long search for a suspected murderer that prompted lockdowns at several schools, authorities in Tierrasanta have arrested a suspect, police said Tuesday evening.
Matthew Rowley, 22, was located in an apartment complex in the 11000 block of Camino Playa Carmel and taken into custody without incident, according to the San Diego Police Department.
The search began earlier Tuesday when police were informed of Rowley's presence in the area. He is suspected in an Orange County murder case from earlier this month and was believed to be armed and dangerous.
Police called Kumeyaay Elementary School on 6475 Antigua Boulevard just before 1 p.m. and told officials to place the school on lockdown, according to a school spokesperson. Shortly after, three additional schools were placed on lockdown. The schools included Tierrasanta Elementary School, De Portola Middle School, and Serra High School.
"A little earlier today we had a call for assistance from the U.S. Marshal’s office as well as the OC task force in the area looking for a murder suspect," said Chief of San Diego Unified School District police Rueben Littlejohn. "He fled on foot and they lost him in this general area."
Rowley, pictured below, was born in 1990 and was wanted for murder in Orange County.
The lockdown was lifted at all the schools at about 2:15 p.m. By 3 p.m. the search was called off, though authorities did not locate Rowley until later Tuesday evening.
At about 2:45 p.m. the parents were allowed to come 10-at-a-time to Kumeyaay Elementary School eastbound on Antigua Road to pick up their kids.
The Corona Police Department released an alert on Wednesday last week on Rowley, saying he was a suspect in a fatal shooting. They warned residents that he was considered armed and dangerous and that the handgun he used is still outstanding.
In the alert, police said they responded to the 1100 block of Border Avenue in Corona at about 9:30 the night of January 16.
When they arrived, officers found a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to the hospital and later died. Police believe Rowley was responsible in the fatal shooting. The Corona Police Department is assisting the San Diego Police Department in their search for him.
According to SDPD department spokesperson Jim Johnson, SDPD didn’t request the school be locked down. Johnson said said the district's police department was on the call and they likely called for the lockdown as a precaution.
Police surrounded Kumeyaay Elementary school armed with guns as the search was underway.
Kumeyaay school is located east of I-15 and south of SR-52. Police could be seen searching homes and the park nearby during the search. K9 and air assistance units were also helping in the search.