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Lompoc High Lockdown Lifted After 3 Suspects Taken into Custody

Three men ran onto the campus after a car crash at the end of a police pursuit


Lompoc High School was locked down Tuesday after three juveniles in a vehicle pursuit fled onto the campus following a collision.

The incident occurred at about 10:20 a.m., and began with a California Highway Patrol pursuit on Highway 1 that proceeded into Lompoc after the speeding vehicle's driver failed to yield, according to emergency radio traffic.

"It kind of zig-zagged its way through surface streets eventually crashing over the curb here, and into an electrical box right behind us," Officer John Ortega said while standing near the suspects' vehicle on the campus along West College Avenue.

All three suspects were taken into custody and the lockdown was lifted around 12:20 p.m., according to authorities.

CHP officers, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies and Lompoc police officers had the campus surrounded, while a helicopter circled above the campus. At least two K-9s assisted as officers searched each classroom. 

Two suspects were apprehended fairly quickly and the third was taken into custody later, according to authorities. 

Since all three suspects are under age 18 their names were not released and the CHP did not say where they live.

However, the vehicle, a tan Toyota Camry, was stolen from Goleta, the CHP later determined.

The three males were not Lompoc High students, said John Karbula, assistant superintendent for business services at Lompoc Unified School District. 

Law enforcement notified the school to lockdown and the staff "did a fabulous job" to quickly follow procedure, he said. The campus practices these situations and everyone kept a clear head, he said.

Authorities did a classroom-by-classroom search of the campus for the suspects, marking checked ones with an "x," and K-9 units were also used at the scene. 

There was an unconfirmed report that the third suspect was found in one of the school classrooms. The other two reportedly were found in an outbuilding.

A phone system message went out to parents to notify them of the lockdown on the campus with approximately 1,500 students, Karbula said. 

As the lockdown was lifted, a tow truck responded to the campus to remove the crashed vehicle. 

All three juveniles were booked into Santa Maria Juvenile Hall, the CHP added.

North County editor Janene Scully reported from the scene.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Authorities did a classroom search of Lompoc High School Tuesday after a vehicle involved in a police pursuit crashed on campus and three suspects fled, leading to a lockdown. Click to view larger
Authorities did a classroom search of Lompoc High School Tuesday after a vehicle involved in a police pursuit crashed on campus and three suspects fled, leading to a lockdown. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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