About 100 people—students and parents—near Ramona High School witnessed sheriff’s deputies take into custody a minor with an air gun Thursday morning, Oct. 25, said Sgt. Daniel Vengler of the Sheriff’s Ramona substation.
Vengler said numerous calls came in around 7:01 a.m. of a male walking northbound on San Vicente Road with what was believed to be a real gun pointed at his head. A California Highway Patrol officer arrived and closed the road, and a sheriff’s deputy who is a member of the sheriff’s Crisis Negotiation Team was able to talk the male into dropping the gun, which turned out to be an air gun, stated Vengler.
“Ultimately we were able to take him into custody without anyone getting injured,” said Vengler, adding that the minor was taken into custody by 7:08 a.m. The schools were not placed on lockdown, he reported.
The incident prompted Ramona Unified School District Superintendent Robert Graeff to issue the following recorded call that day to parents of students in the district:
“Good morning. This is Superintendent Bob Graeff from the Ramona Unified School District. This morning before the start of school on San Vicente Road about two blocks away from Ramona High School, sheriffs apprehended a Ramona High student who was in possession of an air-soft pistol. The student was safely placed in custody and removed to a secure area outside of Ramona.
“The reason for this call is because dozens of students and parents from various schools witnessed the event and rumors have been flying across the school district. To repeat, the student’s weapon was an air-soft pistol, at no time were any students in serious danger, sheriffs and school administrators responded instantly to calls from the community and immediately diffused the situation, and the student is now in custody.
“Administrators at both Olive Peirce Middle School and Ramona High are reassuring students this morning of the facts which have come to light and both schools are operating normally for all students.
Thank you for helping us to explain the facts to your family’s children and for maintaining a calm environment within our school community.”
Vengler said the incident did not occur on school grounds, but possession of an air gun on school property is prohibited and considered a felony.