American Canyon High School was locked down for an hour and a half at mid-day last Wednesday after six students were robbed of their phones, shoes and jewelry at an off-campus location, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office reported.
The suspected robbers — two non-students from out of county, one armed with a gun, the other with a knife — were arrested a short time later, said Henry Wofford, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office and the American Canyon Police Department, which is staffed by sheriff’s deputies.
The robbers sprawled the students out on the ground and one of them put a gun to one of their heads and said, “Give it up or else I’ll kill you,’” Wofford said.
At one point, one of the students, fearing the worst, stood up and bolted and the others soon followed, Wofford said.
Although four of the students sustained injuries, none were life-threatening and there was no evidence that the gun was fired, Wofford said.
The students, who had left campus to get lunch at a 7-Eleven, were stopped on a walking path in the Vintage Ranch subdivision, officials said.
Early reports on a law enforcement radio channel referred to a “shooter” in the area and referred to “victims” requiring medical aid. Ambulances were summoned and to carry students to hospitals in Napa and Vallejo.
Several students went to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa. Another student was to go to Kaiser Hospital in Vallejo. Officials would not disclose details of the injuries.
Police and medical units were called to the area on reports of young victims scattered on Newell Drive, Shenandoah Drive and Silver Oak Trail.
Because early reports, including a posting on napavalleyregister.com, spoke of likely gunfire, the Sheriff’s Office issued a Nixle report at 2:30 p.m. saying there was “no shooting or stabbing at AmCan High.”
“There was a lockdown on campus as a precautionary safety measure for incident near campus,” according to the Nixle report.
The identities of the suspects were not immediately released. Wofford said they were tracked down using vehicle information provided by a student.
Student Jaylen Jones said the report of violence and school lockdown “shocked us.”
“It was kind of scary,” said student Jeremy Linn, who said he was told to stay in the gym locker room when the lockdown was first announced.
American Canyon High School sent a letter to parents on Wednesday afternoon to clarify what had happened near campus.
“Our thoughts tonight are with the students who injured in an off-campus incident today, and with their families. We are grateful for the quick action on the part of the American Canyon Police Department, who have the perpetrators in custody,” the letter stated.
“Although our campus remains safe, we are taking some steps in response. In addition to our campus counseling staff, tomorrow additional professional counselors will be available to help any student or staff member who needs support,” the letter said.
“The American Canyon High campus will be locked down during lunch until further notice,” parents were advised. “Please have your student plan to eat lunch on campus. Food Service will be prepared to serve more students, or your student can bring lunch,” the letter stated.
All other activities will take place as scheduled, the school said.