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Atascadero High School on lockdown after report of gunshot sound 

Update 11:23 a.m., May 21: After almost two hours of being in lockdown, Atascadero Police Chief Jerel Hayley gave the “all clear.” Police completed a grid search of the area near Atascadero High School after a report of a teacher hearing the sound of a gun shot. Students are now resuming a normal school day. Nothing was found and police are leaving campus.

Atascadero High School Shooting

Police on the scene of a reported gunshot sound near Atascadero High School. Photo by Paula McCambridge.

No sign of immediate danger

Original report: At 9:20 this morning, Atascadero High School staff reported single gunshot west of campus near baseball field, according to Atascadero Police Chief Jerel Hayley. Students at the public school and nearby North County Christian are on lockdown as police conduct a search. There is no evidence of immediate danger and no injuries have been reported.

Atascadero City Manager Lisa Cava reports, “Using an abundance of caution, school officials and APD placed AHS and NC Christian schools on lockdown after receiving a report of what sounded like a single gunshot near the high school campus. It is not believed that the sound came from on campus, but rather from the neighboring area & hillsides. The PD is being extremely cautious and doing a grid search and will continue to lockdown until the grid search is complete. Grid searches do take time.”

In addition to Atascadero police, law enforcement from Paso Robles, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, Atascadero State Hospital, Cuesta College Police, and California Highway Patrol are at the scene. A CHP helicopter is circling in the sky around the high school.

Atascadero High School mother Ana Barrera has a freshman daughter on campus and can’t reach her by phone. She found out about the lockdown though a computer-generated voicemail from the school. “It’s my worst fear,” she said through tears. You hear about school shootings, and it’s just my worst fear.”

Police cars block access to the high school campus. Photo by Paula McCambridge.

Police cars block access to the high school campus. Photo by Paula McCambridge.

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