Two schools in San Diego’s Skyline area were placed on lockdown Wednesday morning after a group of men was reportedly spotted walking near the campuses – one of whom was allegedly seen with a gun in his waistband.
Shari Winet, communications director for the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), confirmed lockdowns had been issued for both Morse High School, located at 6905 Skyline Dr., and neighboring Fulton Elementary High School, located at 7055 Skyline Dr.
The district said all students and faculty were safe.
School officers launched a search at both campuses and requested help from the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) to check the surrounding areas, including nearby canyons, by ground and helicopter.
At 11 a.m., SDPD Officer Josh Hodge confirmed SDPD officers had been called to the scene to aid in the search for the alleged suspects. Hodge said police had detained some people, but it was unknown if they were the group of men reportedly spotted in the initial emergency call.
Hodge said the police department's ABLE helicopter was assisting in the search by air and K-9 officers were helping on the ground.
Aerial footage from a news helicopter showed multiple SDPD patrol vehicles lining the entrance of Morse High School, many surrounding the roundabout.
By 11:44 a.m., the SDUSD said the lockdowns at both schools had been lifted.
Police determined the campuses were safe; Winet said no weapon was found and no arrests were made. Further details were not immediately released.
The ordeal was very difficult for parents of students who attend those schools, including Lori Ramos.
Ramos said she received a frantic text message from her daughter, a Morse High School student, saying a gang of men with guns had been walking near the school, possibly on school grounds.
“She was kind of scared. She’s like, ‘Am I going to die?’ That’s just heart-wrenching, you know?” Ramos told NBC 7, referring to the texts from her daughter.
Ramos quickly went to the school.
“I tried to run here as fast as I could and just be by her side and pray that nothing went wrong,” she explained.
The worried mother said standing outside the school and wondering if her child was alright a horrible feeling.
"It’s terrifying. They’re in high school and, you know, a lot of stuff is going on in high school. I always tell her, ‘Tell a teacher if you see something,’” she added.
Ramos said the last thing she heard was that the men ran into some bushes and fled the area.
Mother Leka Talo, who has a daughter at Morse High School, a younger daughter at a nearby school and two teenage cousins who attend Skyline-area schools, was very concerned for her family.
"I’m scared. A lot of schools have been on lockdown – I didn’t think it was going to be my kid’s school," she told NBC 7.
Talo said her oldest daughter texted her that her high school was on lockdown, but she dind't know why. She told Talo she was safe, but confused about what was happening.
Talo immediately rushed to the area in hopes of reuniting with her kids.
"The only thing running through my head is my kids being safe – not just my kids, all of the kids. I just want to get my children out of school right now. I don’t know what that person is capable of. [I’m] just scared," the mother added.
Talo said she heard police weren't sure if the alleged armed suspect was a student "or some random person."
Both schools are located in the Skyline neighborhood and are part of the SDUSD. Morse serves students in grades nine through 12, while Fulton serves students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.