After Lockdown, Student Recants Story of Man With Gun at School

Two hours into the lockdown, the student who initially made the report admitted they made it up

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Marianne Favro reports from Cupertino Middle School after a student said they saw a gunman near campus. (Published Friday, Jan 25, 2013)

    A report of a man with a gun near the campus of a Bay Area middle school that brought out a huge police force Friday morning was all fabricated, according to police.

    The lockdown at Cupertino Middle School in Sunnyvale was called off at 12:30 p.m., two hours after it started when a student gave an unusual description of a man spotted on campus with a gun.

    The city of Sunnyvale tweeted, "UPDATE: Search is shutting down. New info indicates gunman was fabricated." 

    Police said the student who made the inital report recanted his story. They would not say if it was a male or female student.

    The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department confirmed a "code red" lockdown was issued for Cupertino Middle School at about 10:30 a.m.

    The school told parents in an email that the report came from a student who said he or she had seen a gunman on or near the campus.  

    Dear Parents: Cupertino Middle School is currently in a lockdown situation. A student reported a possible suspect on/near the campus with a weapon. All students are safe and in a lockdown situation in their classrooms. Law enforcement was already on campus and are investigating. Please do not go to the campus at this time.

    The suspect was described as a black male with a mohawk, wearing black jeans with holes in them. He was carrying a gun and walking with a limp, according to police who interviewed the student who initially reported seeing the man.

    Sunnyvale police and Santa Clara County deputies were on the scene within minutes of the report.

    Police had their guns drawn and were actively searching the campus at 11 a.m.. They specifically searched two storage sheds on the field of Cupertino Middle School using bolt cutters to open the locks. No one was inside. 

    Officers were still on campus with their guns drawn at 12:30 p.m.

    A group of students was brought to a nearby 7-Eleven and were gathered in the parking lot there. It appeared the students were in gym class when the lockdown was declared.

    School officials sent out a note to parents telling them not to come to the school to pick up their children.

    Homestead High School and West Valley Elementary School, both just a few blocks away, were also on lockdown as a precaution.