Report of armed man prompts Santa Rosa schools to be locked down; no suspect found

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A cluster of schools in Santa Rosa’s Roseland neighborhood were locked down Thursday afternoon after police were told a man with a gun was nearby, though officers found no such person and witnesses said they had not seen anyone with a gun.

More than a dozen officers flooded the area after the department received the report, made by a woman around 12:40 p.m. who said she drove past an armed man walking north on West Avenue near Liana Drive, just southeast of Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School, Santa Rosa Police Lt. John Snetsinger said.

The caller told dispatchers the man appeared to be in his 40s, wearing a red shirt and jeans and was holding a soda can in one hand and a black handgun in the other.

The first officer arrived about five minutes after the initial call and officers placed Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School on lockdown, Snetsinger said. The report triggered additional lockdowns at nearby Roseland Accelerated Middle School and Roseland University Prep, though there was no indication that anyone matching the caller’s description had come onto any of the campuses, Roseland School District Superintendent Amy Jones-Kerr said.

“We took it seriously,” Jones-Kerr said. “We put everybody on lockdown, just to be safe.”

Officers searched the school campuses and the surrounding neighborhood but did not find anyone who fit the caller’s description. They also interviewed people in the vicinity but none said they saw an armed person, Snetsinger said.

Police told the school district it was safe to lift the lockdown about 45  minutes after they arrived, Snetsinger said.

School resource officers with the Santa Rosa Police Department remained at the three schools until the school day ended, said Sgt. Tommy Isachsen, who oversees the officers.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Santa Rosa Police Department, Isachsen said.

You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or

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