Man With Pellet Rifle Prompts 5 Escondido School Lockdowns; Suspect Arrested

Police called the suspect and he agreed to come into the Police Department, where he was taken into custody

A man has been arrested after he fired a pellet rifle at a north San Diego County home, prompting lockdowns at five schools in Escondido Tuesday, officials confirmed. 

The Escondido Police Department (EPD) said the suspect was first spotted around 11:30 a.m. walking near Kit Carson Park. A witness told police the man was carrying some sort of rifle and appeared to be pointing it at LR Green School, though no shots were fired. The witness got a license plate before the vehicle fled the scene. Police responded to the area, but they were unable to locate the driver or suspect car. 

At 1 p.m., another witness called police to report an unknown suspect had shot out the window of a home in the 2200 block of Conway Drive. The resident rushed out, confronting the man and taking photos of him, his rifle and the car before he fled. 

Police say photos led them to determine the suspect and suspect car in each scenario was the same person. The driver, identified as 50-year-old Escondido resident Robert Beltran, was carrying a CO2-powered pellet rifle, police said. 

Since both sightings included an armed suspect near at least two schools, police issued precautionary lockdowns on the following campuses: Calvin Christian School; Reidy Creek Elementary School; North Broadway Elementary School; Rincon Middle School; Conway Elementary School.

The EPD said investigators obtained a photo of Beltran as he walked around on Conway Drive and determined the man was carrying a pellet rifle of some sort.

Officers deemed the schools safe and lifted the lockdowns. 

Police checked Beltran's home, but he was not there. They then called him, and he agreed to come to the Police Department, where he was taken into custody. 

Luis Ibarra, Superintendent of Schools for the Escondido Union School District, confirmed at least four of those campuses had been in lockdown for some period of time Tuesday due to this incident.

Further details were not immediately released.

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