Hollywood High School shooting hoax ‘still traumatizing’ for students and parents

After the principal introduced Hollywood High School was happening lockdown Tuesday morning, Jaila Counts and her 20 ballet classmates ran to a closet, the place they sat cramped for the subsequent hour, crying silently.

Jaila known as her mom, Jillian Counts-Odusanya, who tried to name the varsity for solutions, however nobody picked up. So Counts-Odusanya obtained a experience to the varsity, which she discovered surrounded by yellow crime scene tape and a flurry of Los Angeles Police Department cruisers.

The lockdown and big police response, authorities later stated, stemmed from a hoax 911 name.

Los Angeles faculty police had acquired a report from the LAPD at 9:43 a.m. of an energetic shooter and six victims down, stated Lt. Nina Buranasombati, a faculty police spokesperson.

Officers entered the campus with weapons drawn, looking for any victims or suspects.

But faculty workers, as a substitute of pointing the police towards an emergency, met officers with puzzled seems.

“They just kind of looked at us like, ‘What’s going on?’” Buranasombati stated.

Officers requested to go looking a selected classroom, Buranasombati stated, however the classroom quantity that they had been given by the 911 caller didn’t exist.

Teachers in every classroom messaged faculty officers that their students have been secure and accounted for, and earlier than lunch, the Los Angeles Unified School District had deemed the incident a hoax.

“Non-credible school hoaxes are a serious offense that Los Angeles Unified takes seriously,” colleges Supt. Alberto Carvalho stated in an announcement. “Threats disrupt the educational environment, increase stress levels, and interfere with law enforcement’s ability to protect schools from real dangers.”

Even after Jaila and her classmates discovered the incident was a hoax, the junior stated she couldn’t think about resuming class as regular.

“Why would we go back there after that traumatizing experience? I want to go home,” she stated. “Even if it’s real or fake, that’s still traumatizing.”

“I’m happy it is fake, but at the same time these kids are still scared,” stated Counts-Odusanya, Jaila’s mom, whereas leaving the campus.

Jessica Gomez and Dulce Lupercio stated they rushed over from work once they acquired messages from their ninth-grade sons concerning the faculty lockdown.

Immediately, Gomez stated, she considered the May faculty shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 kids and two adults.

Though police stated it was a false alarm, Lupercio and Gomez stated there was a scarcity of communication to parents who had proven up trying for solutions.

“Where are they when they’re at least supposed to communicate what’s going on?” Gomez stated.

Lupercio was annoyed police have been calling the incident a hoax, as a result of her son and classmates had heard gunshots, she stated. Police had not acquired any stories of gunshots, Buranasombati stated.

The faculty had skilled lockdowns earlier than, because it is positioned at a busy intersection, exposing it to police incidents off campus.

“Even though this happens all the time … [that] doesn’t mean it gets less scary every time this does happen,” stated Ashley Castillo, a senior. “You don’t know what’s going to happen for the rest of the day.”

By 11:48 a.m., the yellow crime scene tape had come down and the police automobiles had left. Parents have been nonetheless heading towards the varsity and leaving with their children.

Some students have been allowed outdoors as they frolicked, kicking round a soccer ball.

Ashley stayed at college for the remainder of the day.

“Just trying to have the rest of what you call a ‘normal day,’” she stated.

Times workers author Howard Blume contributed to this report.

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