UPDATE: No Gunman Found, Kids Released from East Avenue School

Police responded to a report of a man with a rifle on the East Avenue middle school campus.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m. Students who were locked in a classroom at  have been released and reunited with their parents, officials said.

The school this afternoon was on lockdown by as they investigated a report of a man with a rifle on campus, Sgt. John Hurd said. A gunman was not found and the campus was cleared at around 7 p.m.

At around 4:30 p.m. police received a report of a man with a rifle walking through the campus halls. Police immediately responded to the area and placed the school on lockdown.

Officers during the investigation blocked off the area and were able to make contact with students and school staff who were still on campus.

An estimated 16 to 17 students enrolled in an after-school program and a "handful" of school staff were on campus at the time of the investigation, Hurd said.

Sue Frieders' daughter is one of the students who was inside the campus. Frieder was able to keep in contact with her daughter by phone.

"Everything seems to be calm and fine," Frieders said at the time of investigation. "She was more worried about the parents outside the school."

Pleasanton Police and the California Highway Patrol were also on scene to assist LPD.

Police are in contact with the person who called in the report of the armed man on campus.

Superintendent Kelly Bowers released the following statement:

The Livermore police received an anonymous phone call reporting someone with a weapon on or near the East Avenue Middle School campus, and have placed the school campus on lockdown as a safety precaution. The majority of staff and students are already gone, but the extended daycare students and administrative office staff are following lockdown safety procedures.

Message released to district households:

This is Kelly Bowers, Superintendent of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, with important information regarding a lockdown at East Avenue Middle School earlier this afternoon. At approximately 4:15 there was a reported sighting of a man with a weapon on or near the vicinity of East Avenue. There were a few students and staff members on campus and lockdown procedures were immediately implemented as a precaution. A multi-agency police response was initiated until it is determined that the there is no longer any potential threat.

I am personally on site with the chief of police and want to assure you that our students are safe but we will not release the lockdown until we are 100% confident that there is no longer any potential threat. The Livermore School district works closely with the police department because the safety of our students is of paramount importance.

Livermore Patch is at the scene and will update this story as more information is made available.

Robert March 01, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I know...as soon as someone posted that the BofA had been robbed during the East Ave School incident, I knew they were just stirring up the BS pot.
Joe March 01, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I think we also found our first volunteer to take over when these officer's shifts are over. Doyle! Thanks for risking your life buddy! SMDH I am glad my friend was there and got to go home safe to his family after his shift was over.
Robert March 01, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Wow...you know what? I hadn't even thought about that....but considering my phone does that EVERY TIME I try and send a text, that would make a whole HELL of a lot of sense! Good thinking...however, I'm not sure that was the case here! Never know though....
Robert March 01, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Well put!
Robert March 01, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Kris-I wanted to second what Speedie B said-You and your staff really do a fantastic job, (along with my fellow Livermore residents) putting out breaking news stories and info. As a matter of fact (true story) I had just been sitting at my computer, with the scanner feed off when I started hearing a heck of a lot of sirens going past my apartment, so I came here to see if you knew what was going on....and sure enough....so THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!
David March 01, 2012 at 04:01 PM
If nothing else this was a really good exercise for the school and LPD. Yea that poor guy did not know what he started. There is nobody to blame here people. It is just one of those things.
mike March 01, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Real time info. is more than just "Breaking News" in these situations, it can save lives. With all the gadgets people are hooked up to today, people can react instantally to events as they never could before.
Mike March 01, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Kris, I'm curious. Was the 911 call placed by the parent who thinks she actually saw the "Rifleman" -OR- did the parent place the call at the request of a 3rd person who claims they saw him and asked the parent to make the emergency call? Clarification would be much appreciated. Thanks.
George Fay March 01, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Absolutley ricidulous police response. In several photos I counted at least 28 police cars in front of the school. Listening to the police scanner showed no organization amongst the various agencies that responded. Let's all get into cross fire and shoot each other. How was the rest of the city protected during this supposed hoax-crisis? If there was only one classroom of after school kids at the school, instead of locking them in place for THREE HOURS, why didn't the police do something useful like escort them out to a safer location. Does it really take at least 25 police peopel to search a school and does it take three hours to do it. What a waste of manpower. And in the end they found nothing and no one. So, it sounds like one crazy hoax, or maybe kids playing assassin with nerf guns, and the reporting person too stupid to know the difference between a neft rifle and a real rifle.
Kristofer Noceda (Editor) March 01, 2012 at 07:00 PM
OK on scene during the early part of the investigation we were told by police that a mother picking up her child saw a man walking on campus with a rifle and told someone at the school to call 911. But the official press release from police states the following (which is what we'll go with unless there are any other updates): the Livermore Police Department received a 911 call from an adult on campus at East Avenue Middle School. The adult reported seeing a male suspect walking through the school hallway armed with a rifle.
Mike March 01, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Thanks Kris. Hopefully there is not a psycho at large and the department will collect important and relative info from this event.
J sean March 01, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I think the police did what they had to do, it takes time going thru each room at that school. Hoax or not, they have to clear it. They cant have kids coming out of a classroom if there might be an armed person hiding around! They are safer in a locked room till all is cleared. My son attends East Ave and I feel like police did a great job, I feel better that they took their time searching! This is good practice for them in case something ever does happen like this again. We have to be aware of our surroundings at all times.
stygean hugh March 01, 2012 at 08:05 PM
I think that mass hysteria gets the best of parents when ever there is a school shooting any where. Fortunately there wasn't a real crime in progress when this hoax took place. I'm sure that LPD need their exorcize, but we must remember that calling in false or questionable leads can lead to a lot of waisted time and man hours, not to mention undo stress for those involved. I'm glad it was nothing, but I think the caller should be held responsible to some degree.
Stac March 01, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I for one would like to thank Livermore PD for their swift response, as well as Pleasanton PD and the CHP for lending a hand. If my son were at school when something happened, or there was a suspicion that it might be happening, I'd much rather they be on top of it instead of sitting back and waiting for confirmation like some people here seem to think should have been done. And if they're not 100% sure the campus was clear then by all means, keep the kids and staff out of sight until it's safe to bring them out. Don't know why there are so many people dumping on our police department now.
doyle March 01, 2012 at 08:36 PM
So stating the obvious now elicits a sarcastic remark? Here are the facts Joe. Many officers had to be called in for OT yesterday hence the reason they used the officers last names on the scanner along with the typical assignments that are given i.e. SAM 44,. 205, 305….My point was simply that since the Ohio shooting some people may have become overly hyper vigilant or borderline hysterical. I stated this before the search was over that they would find nothing except for unbudgeted OT hours. It also happened to be the opinion of my family members, who happen to be career law enforcement and public servants. So call it an educated guess. Also it wasn’t a slight at LPD for doing their job. But yes, next time this happens I will gladly help out. Do I just mention your name at LPD to get my cruiser and zone assignment?
Christine Lampe March 01, 2012 at 08:46 PM
The patch rocks. Makes me feel good to get the facts fast. The comments don't surprise me having grown up here, that said keep up the good work on the news that counts for us locals.
Mike March 01, 2012 at 09:14 PM
From my persective; what we (commenters) have heard, what we read, believe, think, feel and actually know about the incident are all different and vary greatly.What I read is that there was a 911 call yesterday and no gunman was found. What I have NOT "officially" heard or read is that that it was a false report or "hoax". Any official word on that?
VJ March 01, 2012 at 10:10 PM
The mom who said she saw a gunman was on the news last night. She and her daughter waited in the class room with the ESS kids after reporting a gunman to a staffer on campus. The staffer made the call. Did she mistake another object for a gun? Possibly. But I think it's better to be safe than sorry and the PD's response was justified.
Kristofer Noceda (Editor) March 01, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Just checked in with police and as of this afternoon they have no further updates/information to release on this incident.
Local Grl 22 March 01, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I also wanted to say thank you to the Patch staff. I was at work when we heard the helicopters circling the area and found out what was going on through this website then notified our family and friends nearby to steer clear of the area. Great job to the police officers for being deligent about everyone's safety and patch for updated info. And thank you to the person who posted how to listen in to LPD's dispatch on my iPhone :)
Maureen March 01, 2012 at 10:34 PM
No matter what, whether there was a man with a rifle or a large umbrella @ EAMS, we were spared a very real tragedy yesterday. I believe most of us, when we first heard the news couldn't believe this was really happening in Livermore, our community. This happens someplace else, not here & all of a sudden we were living in real time with false reports of shots fired, hostages taken and local banks being robbed. My neice was in lockdown & it was absolutely terrifying. Special thanks go to LPD, CHP, PPD for taking no chances and treating this as a very real situation. Special appreciation goes to Kris & Patch for keeping us posted- you all did a fantastic job! If it was a man with a rifle, maybe when he saw the woman & her daughter, he bacame spooked and left the campus quickly. If it was a man with an umbrella or maintenance worker with a broom, I hope they step forward and let us know. All in all, I'm betting that every one of us was anxiously waiting for news & hoping for the exact outcome- nobody was harmed, the kids are okay and now the adrenaline has subsided. I know my prayers were answered yesterday, with the exception of an answer of whether or not a man had a rifle on school grounds... I'm very thankful today!
Estaf March 02, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Kris, wanted to thank you for not being to invasive with your reporting style last night, after talking to staff memebers of the PAL program. They said you were not in their face or rude, unlike many of the other news organizations.
MagnusT March 02, 2012 at 06:55 AM
This is entirely beyond idiotic. You cannot invent this sort of lunacy. It organically germinates from a seed of sheer stupidity.
Rich Buckley March 02, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Magnus T's comment holds an inescapable truth. It's probably important to understand this characteristic in ourselves and nearly impossible to do so. I post on this very aspect of our human nature on a page focused on self deceptions used in war here http://tinyurl.com/6pv4m8c
Sue Frieders March 02, 2012 at 02:37 PM
George Fay, was your child in the class room in potential danger? If your child was there you would feel differently. My child was one of the children in lock down. I arrived at the school to pick her up at the same time that the police arrived. I was in the mix from the very beginning. I have nothing but praise and thanks for the Livermore police, the East Ave staff, and our school superintendent. This wasn't a hoax. The parent who saw the suspicious man is credible and the staff did the right thing in calling 911. The Livermore police responded appropriately from the moment they arrived on the scene. My daughter called me from the room moments after the lock down. She was frightened but the staff had them on the floor and was attempting to keep them calm. With in moments there was a police officer stationed with them to protect them. While she was telling me this on the phone the police were communicating with us the same information. This was a big relief to know that my child was protected. People are to quick to second guess what they don't know. Just like the Monday morning quarterback. I challenge the people who are speaking negatively of our police or other public officials, get involved. If you don't like how something is being done, instead of sitting in the comfort of your home (protected by the police) complaining, join one of the many volunteer organizations in the city and make a difference.
mykidsrule March 02, 2012 at 03:14 PM
The helicopter was right over the top of my house
MagnusT March 02, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Sue, I'm sorry that you and your child were unnecessarily traumatized by a fraudulent affair that was invoked merely to elicit the very reaction it got from the public: FEAR. This was a purely selfish play by public servants running amok, entirely out of control. The hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on this "live" training exercise will be added to the budget deficit, further affecting the quality of life in this community negatively. The irony is that instead of expressing abhorrence and outrage at this ridiculous spectacle, the people cheer it.
mike March 02, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Magnus always seems to show up during critical issues as the proverbial "fly in the ointment". He not only knows better the solutions to societies problems but he seems to always know the dark intentions of the authorities, perhaps even before they do. As in they were looking to pad thier paychecks, at the expense of the widows and orphans, with the opportunity for "live" training being the premise. It all shows the mind of a seriously flawed thought process. So " a grain of salt" is perhaps the solution for his ravings.
Kari Hulac (Editor) March 02, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Sue, thanks for such a thoughtful response. Would love to have you blog on Livermore Patch...and same offer goes out to anyone else in this discussion chain. It's so heartening to see 100 comments on here and to see that Livermore people care about this town so much!
Gene March 02, 2012 at 08:49 PM
You go girl!


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