Lockdowns at Turlock schools lifted after police locate suspect


Four schools in Turlock and the school district’s main office were placed on lockdown for 90 minutes on Tuesday while police searched for a man suspected of brandishing a gun at a nearby park.

The lockdown at Turlock High School, Julien Elementary School, Dutcher Middle School and Sacred Heart School and the district office on East Canal Drive began as school was letting out at 2:30 p.m.

Per protocol, students were ordered to remain in their classes. Parents were urged not to pick up their children. At 4 p.m., after police had located the suspect, schools were let out. The suspect was identified only as a 17-year-old who was arrested on a charge of making criminal threats and on an outstanding warrant.

Sgt. Neil Cervenka of the Turlock Police Department said there was no “direct threat” to the schools, and that the district was using “an abundance” of precaution. Sacred Heart, which is not a district school, also was locked down.

Earlier in the afternoon, three people were spotted at Sunnyview Park on Berkeley Avenue south of Turlock High School, Cervenka said. There was a report that one of them brandished a gun.

Police saw three people walking in the area of East Marshall Street and Colorado Avenue. Officers detained two of them – neither of them was armed – but the third suspect ran away, touching off the lockdown.

The suspect, a 17-year-old, was later found hiding in a garbage can and was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and an outstanding juvenile hall warrant.