UPDATE 5:36 p.m. -- The Ukiah Police Department has issued a press release concerning the threat of violence and subsequent lockdown at Ukiah High School earlier today. According to the release, a 17 year old male Ukiah High student made a threat at about 1 p.m., "involving a 'gun'." However, at note point was a gun ever on the campus, and when the boy was found, off-campus, he did not have a gun on his person.
The threat was made in a text message sent directly to a Ukiah High teacher. The press release, which is reproduced below, is somewhat ambiguous about whom the threat was direct towards, but Superintendent Deb Kubin clarified that the threat was a general threat directed at the school, and not one made specifically to this teacher.
The school promptly declared a lockdown and law enforcement began a search for the boy. He was found to be with a relative, who then brought the boy to a residence where police met them and arrested the boy on a felony charge of "criminal threats." The boy's name is being withheld due to his being a minor.
UPD CASES #19-2391
TIME OF CALL: 12:53 PM
LOCATION: 1000 LOW GAP RD. UKIAH (UKIAH HIGH SCHOOL)
422(a) PC-CRIMINAL THREATS-FELONY
17 YEAR OLD MALE UKIAH (NAME WITHELD DUE TO BEING A MINOR)
On 9-4-19 at approx. 1 PM, School Resource Officer Brett Chapman was notified by a Ukiah High School Assistant Principal of a threat that was made to a UHS teacher involving a “gun”. The threat was from a UHS student via a text message and was taken as a credible threat to the school campus. UHS staff, as well as members of the Ukiah Police Department immediately attempted to locate the student. Ukiah High School was placed on lockdown while staff and law enforcement were actively attempting to locate the student. Approx. one hour later, UPD was able to contact a family member who was with the student. The family member agreed to bring the student to his residence, where UPD personnel contacted the student. The lockdown was lifted. UPD arrested the student for 422(a) PC. The student was lodged at Juvenile Hall. UPD investigated the incident and there is no current immediate threat to the students or staff.
UPD and the Ukiah Unified School District takes these incidents extremely seriously. UPD would like to thank the Ukiah Unified School District as well as the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for assisting us in this investigation. Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to contact UPD at 707-463-6262.
Prepared by: Lt. Crook
UPDATE 3:45 p.m. -- We have now spoken to Superintendent Deb Kubin, who provided us with much more information on what happened at Ukiah High today.
The lockdown at Ukiah High School today was initiated after the school received a tip that a student, a 17 year old boy, had made a "general threat" and had potentially brought a gun to school. Kubin could not confirm that the student was a Ukiah High student, citing privacy concerns.
Once the threat was received the school was very promptly put into lockdown, and an Ukiah Police Department officer stationed at the campus, the "resource officer," was notified. A search was conducted off-campus, and the young man in question was found off-campus, and detained by UPD, though no gun was found on his person.
Elaborating on the threat Kubin explained that there was tip that a student had brought a firearm to school and that, "“It was a threat basically to the school." She added that the school and district take all such threats very seriously, saying, "We follow up on every single one of them, even if they’re jokes.”
“In an active shooter situation it’s very much situation as to whether or not there’s a lockdown”
The lockdown procedure consists of holding students in their classrooms, drawing the blinds, and locking the doors. Said Kubin, “This was clearly a lockdown because the student was not on campus, there was never a weapon on campus, so it was clear just to lock down, to make sure the student wouldn’t come on campus. Because we didn’t have active shooter situation on campus.” She elaborated that there are some active shooter procedures in place, and that, “We train students on 'run, hide and fight,' it’s a procedure that we train our students on [for] active shooter situations."
Kubin also explained that the school has two UPD officers assign to it, one of whom is a K9 unit, with a dog that can apparently detect drugs and gun powder -- but that luckily that dog had not had to be used today.
Kubin expressed appreciation to parents for not rushing to the school upon hearing about the lockdown on Facebook, as this would potentially have interfered with the search. She said, "As a parent myself, it’s pure instinct to want to come where your kids are, but we were quickly able to get communication out on Facebook that we were on lockdown.”
We will continue to update.
MENDOCINO Co., 9/4/19, 3:25 p.m. -- Ukiah High School was placed under a lockdown this afternoon, though the reason has not yet been made public. The lockdown was lifted a short time later.
At about 2:00 p.m. the Ukiah Unified School District put a post on their Facebook page saying that the school had been placed in lockdown but not providing much additional information about the cause. They also asked parents not to come to the school, a potential concern given that the time to pick up students was approaching.
The school district soon thereafter posted another comment on Facebook saying that the lockdown had been lifted, and that parents could come get their students at the normal time. Parents in the comment section have noted that the school did not send out a call, and it appears that the primary way that the information was announced was through Facebook.
Reached for comment the Ukiah Unified School District had not responded as of time of publication. Ukiah High School referred questions to the school district. The Ukiah Police Department had also not responded with comment at time of publication.
There is some indication that the lockdown came as part of an off-campus search by the Ukiah Police Department. Though the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is next to the high school, the school is within UPD jurisdiction.
Here is the initial Facebook post:
A few minutes later they posted this message:
We will continue to update as more information comes in.