A car was struck with gunfire that led to a lockdown of an elementary school in downtown Lodi late on Monday afternoon.
When Lodi police officers responded to a report of shots fired, a car which had one of its windows shattered was on the 300 block of South School Street at approximately 4:28 p.m. A witness reported seeing a possible suspect near Clyde W. Needham Elementary School. The make of the car was unknown.
According to Lt. Fernando Martinez of the Lodi Police Department, the reporting party gave a vague description of the suspect, other than he appeared to be a Hispanic man wearing shorts and a hoodie.
Once Lodi Police received calls about the suspect, units responded to the intersection of Chestnut Street and S. Pleasant Avenue, on the west side of the elementary school. Approximately 40 to 50 students who were taking part in after-school activities were put into lockdown. The entire block was closed for almost two hours.
“We had to make sure for the care of the students and the staff,” said Martinez.
Some of the students, according to Martinez, were locked down in classrooms, multi-purpose rooms and the library.
Although the school activated its lockdown procedure, there was no indication that the suspect was on campus or made contact with any staff or students, according to a post on the Lodi Police Department’s Facebook page.
Before the lockdown was lifted, police officers went into each classroom and building with their weapons drawn.
Children were greeted by family members after the lockdown was lifted.
Officers checked the area around the elementary school, but the suspect was not located.
Martinez also noted that the department was in the process of obtaining surveillance videos at the school to try to identify the suspect.
Anyone with information about this incident should contact the Lodi Police Department at 209-333-6727. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the Lodi Area Crime Stoppers at 209-369-2746.
For school-related inquiries, contact Lodi Unified School District spokesperson Chelsea Vongehr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff reporter Mike Bush contributed to this story.