Eastlake High School was briefly placed on lockdown Wednesday morning before the bell rang due to police activity near the campus.
The school sent a voicemail to parents informing them of the lockdown, saying it was “a precaution due to a suspect in the area.” The campus was secured just before 7:30 a.m.
The voicemail advised parents not to drop off their kids at school if they hadn’t done so already. If kids had already been dropped off, the message said the kids were safe with adults, as there was “no immediate danger.”
By 8:30 a.m., the lockdown had been lifted and students were being allowed on campus.
An NBC 7 crew at the scene heard an announcement being made over the intercom telling students to head to first period. Normally, the first bell rings ay 7:45 a.m., but the lockdown caused a brief delay.
Eastlake High School, located at 1120 Eastlake Parkway, is located next to Olympic View Elementary School. The voicemail to parents said that campus was also briefly locked down Wednesday morning.
The lockdown happened as a group of teachers held a peaceful demonstration in front of the school, protesting the impact of budget cuts on teachers and faculty.
Officials said there were reports of a man, possibly armed, in a nearby parking lot, so the school was placed on lockdown as a precaution while police searched for the suspect. He was not immediately located.
Just before 8:15 a.m., Chula Vista Police Department Lt. Dan Peak confirmed the school was no longer on lockdown. He said there was no known threat to the campus.
Peak told NBC 7 police received the initial reports of the suspicious man at around 5:15 a.m. Witnesses told police the man was allegedly armed with a handgun and had pointed the weapon at someone on Eastlake Parkway.
Peak said police had not yet determined if the man had been armed; the lieutenant said the suspect may have gotten on a city bus as he fled the area.
Eastlake High School sent another voicemail to parents once the lockdown was lifted.
“Please know that your children were safe at all times, and I worked in conjunction with law enforcement, who did an amazing job keeping our community safe,” the voicemail said.
The message said parents could start bringing their kids to school.
Eastlake High School student Mia Ramirez said the incident was confusing but she was grateful the campus was safe.
Her mom, Lisveth Ramirez, told NBC 7 it was "very scary" to hear about the lockdown.
"Very scary, very scary to hear that your kid could be in danger," the mom said. "They are your life, so if anything were to happen to them, everything changed. Scary."
No further details were released.
Eastlake High School serves more than 3,000 students in grade nine to 12. On Tuesday, students there staged a walkout to protest budget cuts.