Two students were arrested on suspicion of robbery after allegedly fleeing onto campus with a “replica firearm” as CVHS went into a lockdown after school on Dec. 2.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported robbery at Redwood Market. The sheriff’s office reported a robbery of the market, and Principal Blaine Torpey reported three CVHS students were robbed.
Officers arrested the suspects at CVHS, one in a classroom and one in the main office, while students and staff sheltered in place.
The sheriff’s office received a call from alleged victims at Redwood Market saying that they had been “robbed at gunpoint” by two youths who were last seen running to CVHS. Officers told the school to lock down and identified the suspects using video.
Officers arrested one suspect in the main office, but determined the other was in a classroom where students were receiving after-school tutoring. With the possibility that the suspect possessed a firearm, officers established two perimeters while four officers entered the classroom, said Sheriff’s Sgt. Priscilla Silva.
Officers told those in the classroom to keep their hands visible. Then the officers searched people in the room, found the replica firearm, which Torpey described in an email to families as an “airsoft gun,” in the suspect’s waistband and arrested the suspect, Silva said.
Between ten and 15 officers were involved because of the threat posed by reported firearm in a classroom. “We’re thinking active shooter at this point,” Silva said.
Silva explained that standard law enforcement procedure is for officers to detain, search and even handcuff everyone in the room to ensure safety.
“We detain everybody the same way,” she said. “This is going to suck for people that had nothing to do with the crime, it’s embarrassing, it’s not comfortable, it’s scary, we understand that, but we’re hoping that your student body will understand why we need to do that.”
In this case, “they were all facing the board with their hands on their head and their heads ducked. We approached them from the rear. We even searched staff members who we didn’t know were staff members because they were sitting in student desks. I’m sure they’re not happy about it either,” Silva said.
“But everybody went home safely, so it’s a success for us,” she said.
Silva emphasized the importance of cooperating with law enforcement officers in such a situation.
“It’s always important to follow the orders of law enforcement. For instance, in this classroom if somebody hadn’t followed orders somebody could’ve gotten hurt,” Silva said.
Neither of the suspects, both identified as juveniles, resisted, nor did the others temporarily detained, Silva said.
Torpey attempted to reassure families after the incident. “I know these situations are scary for everybody,” he wrote to families. “They are scary for me too. But that does not stop any of us from our mission to ensure the sanctity of our school community or the sanctity of our educational environment.”
He has promised that counseling will be available to staff and students affected by the incident.