El Cerrito police continue search for suspects in shooting at high school

EL CERRITO, Calif. (KTVU) - A 19-year-old man wounded outside El Cerrito High School Friday afternoon was actually shot twice, something police say he hid from them.

"One of our school resource officers found him with a gunshot to his arm," Captain Mike Regan told KTVU, "and the shooter or shooters were seen running into the neighborhood."

The young man is not a student at the high school, and apparently never has been.

He concealed a gunshot wound to his leg and refused medical treatment at the scene.

A friend took him to the hospital, where investigators learned the true extent of his injuries.

Police say he is not cooperating with detectives.

It's unclear why he was meeting with a group of young men near the campus, but their clash created chaos for the neighborhood.

With the assailants on the run, police locked down the school with 600 students inside, and an hour left in the school day.

The students sheltered in place in their classrooms, while officers launched a painstaking yard by yard search.

Four square blocks were sealed off as dogs tried to pick up the trail.

"We locked down the school out of an abundance of caution," explained Capt. Regan, "and because we could not conduct a search with hundreds of students pouring into the neighborhood."

"I was out front, and I saw him, and he was all bloody and stuff," claimed one student, after the lockdown was lifted.

"I heard it on the walkie talkie, and I was so nervous," added another, "this is the first shooting that ever happened at this school."

Police swiftly detained two juveniles; one could be seen handcuffed and sitting on the pavement, and another in the back of a patrol car.

Friday evening, the two were still in custody and being questioned, but investigators weren't convinced they had the ringleaders.

"We believe the suspect, or suspects, were able to get outside the perimeter before we had it fully contained," admitted Capt. Regan.

Just after 5 p.m., streets reopened and residents were allowed to come home.

"I checked my house when I got home, and checked my yard," Pat Cosgrove told KTVU, from her home just steps from the high school. "This is really unusual to have this type of activity. This is a great neighborhood, it really is."

Parents received a mass notification of the incident, assuring them their children were safe.

"I'm nervous because the phones, the kids are not answering their phones inside the school," Meishia Kenney told KTVU, as she waited to hear from her 17-year-old son, Kenneth. "I know how a lot of innocent victims have been getting shot lately, especially with the kids. So I rushed down here as soon as I could."

Even though they had been advised to avoid the area until the lockdown was lifted, many parents flocked to the area and stood vigil.

"Where the young man got shot, I usually pick up my nephew from that spot," Michael Seals told KTVU.

"I don't know, it's crazy," said his nephew Qari Durham, a freshman. "It's normally a peaceful neighborhood, so I wouldn't expect this to happen."

Police are looking into the possibility this shooting is related to another episode of gunfire Thursday evening, on the west side of El Cerrito.

That involved a car load of young men who escaped, and an intended target who was not injured.