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Local News

Threat Prompts Sheriff’s Response to Santa Barbara Charter School

Officials take precautions after receiving a report that a father indicated he was en route to kill his two children

More than a dozen sheriff’s personnel responded to Santa Barbara Charter School in Goleta on Thursday after a staff member received a report that the father of two students was en route and planning to kill them, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The report, phoned in by the students’ mother, was received shortly after 11 a.m., according to Lt. Butch Arnoldi.

The woman told a staff member she had received a call from the father, who is living in Texas, saying he had withdrawn money from the bank and was heading to Goleta intent on killing his two children, Arnoldi said.

A school-resource officer happened to be at Goleta Valley Junior High School, which is adjacent to the charter school at 6100 Stow Canyon Road, when the call came in and responded immediately, Arnoldi said.

Within 15 minutes, about 15 sheriff’s personnel were on campus to provide security and investigate the incident, Arnoldi said.

“Anytime there’s a threat of someone with a gun at a school, we respond as a top priority,” Arnoldi said.

Neither the charter school nor the junior high school was placed in actual lockdown, Arnoldi said, adding that investigators were able to determine that the father was still in San Antonio, Texas.

Interviews with staff members and the children’s mother were continuing Thursday afternoon, Arnoldi said.

A spokeswoman with the Santa Barbara Unified School District confirmed there was no lockdown, but said “necessary precautions were taken.”

The names of those involved were not released.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

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.

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