Paso Robles elementary schools placed on lockdown, cleared to reopen Friday

Jan 15, 2015

Concerned residents gather at police barricades near Pat Butler Elementary School on Nicklaus Street.
Credit Paco Guzman / Paso Robles Daily News

Two Paso Robles elementary schools will reopen as normal Friday morning, after both were put on lockdown Thursday for separate, unrelated causes.

Pat Butler Elementary School was the first affected, after two students reported they were threatened by an armed man near the campus during recess. The kids say the man was just outside the athletic field fence and had a shotgun or rifle.

The lockdown stayed in place until 2:15 Thursday afternoon, following an orchestrated search of the area.

Police Chief Robert Burton says no suspect was located despite the assistance of CHP aircraft, K-9 units and the sheriff's department.

A second school, Virginia Peterson Elementary, was also placed on lockdown Thursday, after a student said she was attacked by a man with a knife.

Chief Burton says it's not likely the two cases are related.

"We were wrapping up our first incident when the second one came out, different schools, different locations in town," said Burton. "In this case it seems to be unsubstantiated, meaning that this was not a real attack."

In both cases the students were forced to shelter in place until the all clear was given by the police department.