By Caleb Lunetta, Jose Herrera & Rylee Holwager
Signal Staff Writers
A containment was set up near Canyon High School on Wednesday in connection to a reported instance of familial violence in which a teenager threatened his mother and stole her car, according to law enforcement officials.
The school was placed on a brief lockdown in connection to the incident and the suspect was detained soon after the containment was established, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials.
The suspect was described as a 15-year-old boy, according to sheriff’s radio traffic.
A roadblock was set up for a wanted vehicle, according to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“A juvenile reportedly stole mom’s vehicle and made threats to her and possibly had a firearm,” said Arriaga. “It is unconfirmed if a firearm was in the vehicle.”
At approximately 1:48 p.m., radio scanner traffic seemed to indicate that the suspect was being taken into custody at gunpoint. Arriaga confirmed at 1:50 p.m. that the suspect had been detained.
Sheriff’s station officials confirmed that Canyon High School had been put on a lockdown for a handful of minutes while deputies worked to clear the scene and detain the suspect, according to Arriaga.
“Canyon was on a hard lockdown because of reports of a former student being on campus without permission,” said Debbie Dunn, a spokeswoman for the William S. Hart Union High School District. “Law enforcement was contacted and the individual was apprehended almost immediately without incident. The lockdown was then lifted.”
No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.
Upon further investigation, deputies reported that they did not locate a firearm on the suspect or in the stolen vehicle, according to spokesman for the station Sgt. Bengtson.
Parents, Students Alarmed
Some Canyon High parents were alarmed and worried once they found out a possible student with a firearm was on campus. Some showed up to the campus, as deputies were just about to leave with the suspect in custody, wanting to get their children out sooner.
“I was panicked because of what happened four years ago,” said Juan Uribe, parent of a junior, referring to the Saugus High School shooting. “I was out here trying to get my kid out.”
“She [my daughter] texted myself and her mom and let us know,” Uribe said. “She was panicking.”
Junior Jordan Stark, 16, was walking off campus to head to work when four deputies came toward her. One of them had a rifle, and they put her in the health office. Deputies told her to keep the door locked and to draw the curtains.
“I was sitting there in total darkness,” she said.
She wasn’t aware the 15-year-old suspect was on campus until she received texts from her friends and when she looked on social media.
“I didn’t feel panicky. I was more worried about not getting to work on time,” Stark said. “I feel like now it’s just like a normal thing to happen. I wasn’t that alarmed by it or anything.”
Senior Samantha Gonzalez, 16, was in Valencia getting her senior portraits when she received texts from her brother and friends saying Canyon High was on lockdown.
“The worst comes to mind at first,” Gonzalez said. “I’m still shaken up because the guy who stole the car was there, and I’m panicked, so I start texting my brother, friends to make sure they’re OK and nothing’s going on.”
On social media, she saw reports that the suspect had a firearm and her thoughts went to the worst-case scenario, she added.
“There was a bunch of deputies who told me to just wait in my car, and I came up to the admin office but it was still locked,” Gonzalez said.
After the suspect was taken into custody, she felt relieved, but she was still shaken up and she was thinking about not attending her last class of the day.
“I don’t want to stay for my class because you don’t know what can happen,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t want to come back right now.”
After everything that’s happened throughout the country in regards to gun violence, and thinking about the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting in May, and the local school shooting in Saugus that happened four years ago, Gonzalez said she’s scared every day to come back to school.
“In every class, I already have a plan to get out, and no kid should have to make an escape plan in case an intruder or shooter comes in and starts blasting the place,” Gonzalez said. “No kid should have to do that or think that.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.