Wilson Elementary School students spent much of Thursday morning — the final day of classes — on lockdown after reports that a man who lives across the street shot out the window of a car parked in his driveway.
The report led to a two-hour standoff with the man who ultimately was released, after no shell casings were located and witnesses who originally reported hearing gunshots changed their story.
A mother of one of the students parked her car in the driveway of the man’s home at the corner of Escuelita and North Santa Ana avenues, according to Modesto Police Officer Jim Reeves. She returned to find her driver’s side window shattered and several neighbors reported hearing gunshots.
Modesto Police responded and surrounded the home with guns drawn.
“The entire south wing of the school was directly across the street from the house so we evacuated that wing, got all the kids into the multipurpose room and began trying to contact the resident of the house,” Reeves said.
The man initially refused to come out of the house but after two hours surrendered peacefully. After finding no evidence a gun was fired and getting conflicting witness statements, officers released the 35-year-old man, said Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves.
Before the incident began, the students were getting ready to go outside for the school’s annual end-of-the-year awards ceremony, according to several parents who arrived early at the school after getting a message phone message that the school was on lockdown.
“It’s very interesting day for these little kids; we are trying to keep them happy and excited and give them high fives and all that,” Reeves said. “I know they had a lot of fun planned, parties and everything, which obviously got a little bit messed up, but we did the best we could with the circumstances that we had.”