A “suspicious male” in the University and Yale area of La Mesa put Helix Charter High School and several other nearby schools on lockdown during the morning of May 15.
Although surrounding schools were not actively involved in the matter, they were placed under a lockdown as a “precautionary measure,” according to NBC 7 San Diego.
The La Mesa Police Department tweeted in the morning that they were in the area at 9:57 a.m., however reassuring readers that “Helix staff is aware and students are safe.”
The La Mesa PD Twitter account was rapidly updated as the story developed. They described the suspect as wearing a striped shirt, grey sweatpants, and blue shorts.
Police were on the ground and on the Helix campus, and helicopters could be seen and heard hovering above the area, actively searching for the described subject.
An unconfirmed witness report from a Helix staff member, quoted by the La Mesa Police Department, noted that a man was seen leaving the Helix campus with a gun.
However, when the man was located and detained almost an hour later, he was unarmed. CBS 8, a local news station, reported that the man’s batting gloves were most likely the object mistaken for a firearm.
According to 10 News, the man was arrested and cited for trespassing onto Helix grounds, but will be released from police custody after questioning.
Helix parents were kept in the know during the entire process, via email and phone.
Mark Demers, Assistant to the Executive Director, sent an email to all parents and guardians at 11:24, stating that “La Mesa PD has reported to us that they have detained the subject […] and given us the all-clear to lift the lockdown.”
Third period and the rest of the day will continue on as normal at Helix.