Huntington Beach

Teacher Likely Shot With BB Gun During Drive-By Preschool Graduation

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A school was put on lockdown in Huntington Beach after a preschool teacher was believed to have been shot by a BB gun as preschoolers were driving by to say farewell to their teachers.

Teachers say they ran inside the classrooms and told the students and their parents to leave the campus. What started as a celebration ended much differently at Oak View.

Drive by graduations have become a rite of passage even for a 4-year-old during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Oak View preschool, teachers dressed as superheroes as Disney music played in the background and parents who showed up were greeted with shouts of joy.

But school officials say somewhere off campus someone fired at the gathered crowd. Witnesses heard the sound of pellets hitting a metal hand rail.

The sound of the BB's hitting metal was almost drowned out by the celebration.

The parade came to a sudden halt after the shocking action. Christine Kim reported on NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

"She came over to me and I said, 'I think I've been shot. She had blood all around...a little hole," said teacher Kathy Blythe.

School officials immediately went on lockdown. They say the teacher was coherent and concerned about others.

"The whole time she’s in there, 'Are kids OK? I’m so sorry this happened,'" Blythe said.

Oak View has about 100 students. It’s believed the sound of the end of school year parade angered a nearby neighbor.

"We have so many activities in the community I feel like they protect our school. For this to happen, it just a broken heart," said teacher Norma Vasquez.

Police are asking anyone who was at the school Tuesday to send them their cellphone video as they try to piece together what happened.

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