Suspect arrested in Helix High School threat
Police at Helix High School (January 14, 2011)
"There were no specific threats against the school or the students," said El Cajon police Lt. J. D. Arvan. "The caller was informing us that he had heard a shooting had occurred at Helix High school."
Arvan said the phone call came into their station around 10:00 a.m.
Officials apparently traced the phone call to a home on El Mio Street in El Cajon. Officers brought a handcuffed man out of a house on that street. He was shirtless and shoeless and appeared to be wearing pajama bottoms. After interrogating the suspect for several minutes, they drove him off in a police car.
"We actually conducted a pretty extensive investigation and during this investigation we contacted various agencies as well as conducted records checks and talking to other people he may have known or had recent contact with," said Arvan. "That's how we developed information that he may have had weapons inside."
The man was detained shortly after noon, and it came after La Mesa police had secured the Helix High School campus by blocking all entrances to the school with squad cars. School officials described the lockdown as a "secure campus," meaning that classes were continuing in session, but students were not allowed to leave their classrooms. Worried parents waited outside for word from their kids.
"I'm scared, I'm scared for my son," said Curtis Swafford. His son is an 11th grader at the school. "I don't know what's going on."
"She's in there, she's scared and I'm just worried,' said parent Alicia Garcia.
School officials ended the secure campus at about 12:30 p.m. Classes continued on a normal schedule, although some parents took their children home after the emergency was lifted.
"I just want her home. She wants to stay at school," said parent Tia Robinson. "I just want her home, I'll feel better about that."