SANTA ROSA, Calif. (BCN/KTVU) - Santa Rosa High School's graduation ceremony for 423 seniors will continue Friday evening despite the morning lockdown of the school after a student was arrested for bringing a replica gun on campus.
At an afternoon news conference, Captain John Cregan with Santa Rosa Police Department, said a 15-year-old boy, who was currently on school suspension since last week, was arrested and booked into the Sonoma County Juvenile Justice Center. The boy, a Sebastopol resident, faces one felony charge of having a weapon on campus.
Capt. Cregan said the weapon was a replica glock that shoots pellets or BBs.
During the search Santa Rosa police received information that the student may have fled campus as the lockdown was being initiated. He was reported to have gone to the McDonalds located across the street from Santa Rosa High School. Officers responded to the scene but the suspect had already fled.
The minor suspect was taken into custody after an extensive search of the campus, and the lockdown was lifted around 1 p.m.
Police say Sonoma County Sheriff's Department took the suspect into custody at a nearby neighborhood at around 12:45 p.m., at Beaver Street and Benton Street. The boy did not have the weapon on him. He told police it was in a trashcan at a nearby fast-food restaurant. Police later found the weapon where the boy had indicated it was, at the McDonald's.
Capt. Cregan said there was no indication the suspect was going to commit any act of violence on campus and that he told police he was visiting a friend. Cregan chalked it up to a poor juvenile decision.
Santa Rosa High School seniors who were practicing the graduation ceremony on the athletic field were quickly moved into the gymnasium after the 10:50 a.m. report about someone with a gun, Santa Rosa City Schools District spokeswoman Beth Berk said.
The school district office and Ridgway High School, which was holding its graduation ceremony for 160 students, were also locked down, Berk said. School administrators will contact Ridgway students who did not receive their diplomas during the interrupted ceremony.
Berk said the possible gun on campus incident added stress to the last day of school. Students of both high schools may drop in for counseling at Santa Rosa High School between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday.
KTVU's Andre Torrez contributed to this report.