At approximately 11:06 am today, the Bishop Police Department was notified by Bishop Union High School administration that staff may have heard a student in a crowded hallway say that he had a gun. Staff could not determine who had uttered the words.
Bishop Police Officers were on scene quickly. A detached building housing a number of classrooms and roughly 150 students situated near the main building was contained. A school lock-down for safety was done. Police spoke with staff and confirmed the call type. The BPD Public Information Officer (PIO) sent a “push” message via our phone app and to Facebook to not only notify concerned parents and citizens but to also refute any false posts. As soon as practicable, a member of the BPD exited the scene to give an update to concerned citizens who were waiting nearby. A member of the Methodist church next to the high school joined in and offered assistance.
Law enforcement officers from Inyo and Mono Counties and CHP responded to assist, many of whom were already geared up in Bishop on a training detail. Many law enforcement officers on-scene have completed the certified active-shooter course as well as on-going, related tactical training for such an event like today. Responders conducted a systematic search and a number of interviews. No firearm was found.
During this incident, similar information was received in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. The respective police agencies communicated and coordinated accordingly.
The investigations are on-going. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact BPD at (760) 873-5866, in-person, or via BPD’s social media platform.
Mammoth High School
Today at approximately 11:43 a.m., the anonymous tip system, “Tip Now” received information regarding a potentially armed student on the Mammoth Unified School District campus. It was unclear to officers which campus this was directed toward. Shortly after, two additional tips were received regarding potential violence. Due to the severity of the tips, it was decided to put all three campuses on lock down; Elementary, Middle and High Schools. School Resource Officer Daniel Hansen began working closely with school administrators and staff to investigate the incident.
During the initial stages of the investigation, it was determined that the threat was specific to the high school campus. The lockdown was subsequently lifted from the elementary school, however, due to the close proximity of the middle school to the high school, the middle school lockdown was left in place.
The investigation continued as new information was received by the department with mutual aid resources arriving at the school to provide assistance. The responding agencies included: California Highway Patrol, Mammoth Fire Protection District, Mono County District Attorney Investigators, Mono County Sheriff, and Mono County Probation.
Information gathered by the department led to the identification of a student. Officers were able to safely take the student into custody during the lockdown with no incident, and subsequently lifted the lockdown of the middle school. For safety precautions, responding officers conducted a thorough search of the entire Mammoth High School campus. The search included classrooms, closets, cupboards, backpacks and lockers. This enormous task was accomplished expeditiously and efficiently with the greatly appreciated assistance of each of the responding agencies.
While the extensive search took place, students were escorted to the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR). Prior to entering the MPR, each student was given a brief cursory pat down search for weapons only. The students were respectful of the officers and took the incident seriously. This made our efforts easier. School administrators and staff provided any needed counselling to students, along with much needed sustenance and restroom breaks.
At the conclusion of the search, no weapon was found and no charges have been filed at this point. Information about the incident will be forwarded to Mono County Juvenile Probation for any filing recommendations to the District Attorney.
The department believes that this incident was not related to the Bishop High School Lockdown that started about 10 minutes prior to this incident.
We are thankful there was no violence that occurred. Once again, this incident demonstrated what a great working relationship we have with our fellow law enforcement agencies, fire department and the school district.
Again, thank you to the Mammoth High School students for their cooperation, understanding, and for taking this incident seriously.
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