San Diego

‘Secure Campus' Mode Lifted at Rolling Hills Elementary School in Rancho Penasquitos

Rolling Hills Elementary School – located at 15255 Penasquitos Dr. – was placed on "secure campus" mode at 9 a.m. due to police activity along Avenida Montuosa, a street just south of the school

An elementary school in Rancho Penasquitos was placed on "secure campus" mode for about an hour Tuesday due to nearby police activity, authorities confirmed.

Rolling Hills Elementary School – located at 15255 Penasquitos Dr. – was secured at 9 a.m. due to police activity on two streets just south of the school.

San Diego Police Department Officer Billy Hernandez confirmed officers were searching for a suspect with a felony warrant in surrounding neighborhoods. As of 9:40 a.m., he said officers were searching along Avenida Montuosa and the 113000 block of Del Diablo Way. An SDPD sergeant told NBC 7 the suspect was wanted for felony evading.

Both Hernandez and Rolling Hills Elementary School officials confirmed the school was placed on secure campus while officers worked in the area.

Secure campus is different than a lockdown; some schools use this precautionary measure when there is police action in the surrounding community. All classroom and office doors are locked and students and faculty must remain inside, but instruction can continue.

About a half-hour into the incident, officers could be seen focusing their attention on a brown home on the corner of Del Diablo Way and Santanas Street. A sergeant said the property is a "known narcotics" house. Investigators thought the suspect was inside but, ultimately, was not found at the home.

Police said the suspect is a man in his 20s. His name was not immediately released.

At around 10 a.m., officers were clearing from the home on Del Diablo Way. They planned to alert school officials to soon lift the secure campus mode.

Liberty Zabala/NBC 7
Police officers focused their attention on this home in Rancho Penasquitos as they searched for a suspect wanted on a felony warrant.

About 10 minutes later, Rolling Hills Elementary School officials confirmed the security measure had been lifted.

School principal Libby Walker sent this email alert to parents and faculty:

"The secure campus has been lifted. Law enforcement have concluded their search in our area and have confirmed that we can continue the school day as normal. I want to commend our students and staff for adapting quickly to the situation. Thank you to our parents for following our protocols as well, and thank you to SDPD for their continued support and presence during the day. Dismissal will be at the normal time."

The secure campus incident came just two days into the second week of classes for the 2019-2020 school year for the Poway Unified School District.

Rolling Hills Elementary serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade. School had started there, as usual, at 8:10 a.m. sharp, before the campus went into secure mode. Normal dismissal time for Tuesday would be 2:30 p.m.

No other information was available.

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