Suspected shooter arrested after wounding 1 near California school

A gunman and his accomplice have been arrested in a shooting just outside a Northern California high school Tuesday that wounded a teenager and locked down thousands of students and staffers in a three-school complex for hours, authorities said.

Witnesses told police that the shooter fired three to four rounds before running onto the campus after classes began, authorities said. A 17-year-old boy was shot in the stomach and is now in stable condition.

Santa Rosa Police Captain John Cregan said the incident followed a verbal altercation between the gunman and the victim, and that there was no active shooter-type incident, according to CBS San Francisco. Cregan said investigators believe the suspect hid the weapon in someone else’s backpack and it was somehow transported it off-campus.

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“We have no evidence the student who left with the backpack knew what they had [in the backpack],” said Cregan. 

Parents described the panic of getting text messages from their children and not knowing if they were safe. One mother, Cherie Posluszny, told the Associated Press that her 17-year-old daughter texted just after 9:40 a.m.

“Someone got shot,” the first message said, according to the Associated Press, followed up a minute later by “I love you.”

“Someone is at Ridgway,” read the next message.

After Posluszny’s daughter’s phone stopped working, the girl found a friend’s phone. Posluszny asked if she was OK. 

“Not really. But I will be OK,” her daughter responded. The girl told her mother that she spent hours lying on the cold floor hiding behind a teacher’s desk with other students.

The gunman was caught on the school campus after a less than two-hour manhunt, Cregan said. It was not immediately clear where the second suspect was arrested or what role he had in the attack. 

Posluszny said she worried about how this “new normal” was affecting children. “This is becoming routine. It’s part of the culture now. These kids are also victims,” she said as she raced to the school.

The school is part of a sprawling complex that also includes Santa Rosa High School, Santa Rosa Junior College, school district offices and athletic fields. The complex with thousands of students, teachers, administrators and others was locked down while a SWAT team searched for the gunman, Cregan said.

TV footage from a helicopter showed a boy or man being led away in handcuffs while students were taken out of a building and searched. Authorities were still looking for the shooter’s handgun.

Police, who are getting help from the FBI, lifted the lockdown around 11:30 a.m. following a “thorough sweep” of the schools, saying on Twitter that “there is no threat.”

School district officials referred questions to police but tweeted that “students are safe.”

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