Fatal shooting causes school lockdown

A Castro Valley resident was fatally shot right outside his home on Wilson Street on Nov. 28 at about 6 p.m. The shooting happened so close to the school that many students heard the shots and the campus went into lockdown.

“We heard the shots and a couple of us reacted,” said sophomore Ria Panjwani, who was on the soccer field for JV soccer practice.  “Me and one of my teammates said, ‘Those sound like gunshots should we leave?’ And my other teammates just said, ‘No those are fireworks.’ Two minutes later we started to hear sirens so we decided to pack up and leave.”

Because there were so many school events happening on and around campus, Assistant Principal Nic McMaster called for a lockdown. Students and adults stayed inside behind locked doors. The events happening on campus were a freshman basketball game, the girls tennis banquet, dance practice, soccer practices for girls and boys, frosh-soph baseball training, girls basketball practice and a play rehearsal in the Center for the Arts.

“Generally when this has occurred, school is in session, so we are available to get on the intercom, but that wasn’t available to us this time,” said McMaster. “I was one of the last people to find out, it was the soccer team that initially heard the gunshots and parents and students called in.”

McMaster cancelled the lockdown minutes later after contacting a sheriff’s office dispatcher, who said the school was in no danger.

The shooting victim was 37-year-old Caeser Plascencia, a waterproofer. The victim’s children, a 9-year old daughter and a 12-year old son, were unharmed.  

The shooter may have been in a vehicle, a sheriff’s spokesman said. The officers believe the shooting may have been targeted but aren’t sure as of yet.  Officers are investigating the case.

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