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Turlock schools placed on lockdown as police search for suspect

Four Turlock schools were placed on lockdown Tuesday afternoon as the Turlock Police Department searched for a possibly armed suspect.

By 4 p.m. the suspect had been found hiding in a garbage can and was apprehended. The lockdown was lifted shortly after, according to the Turlock Police Department. The suspect is a 17-year-old boy. He was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and for an outstanding warrant from Juvenile Hall.

The lockdown was for Julien Elementary, Turlock High School, Sacred Heart and Dutcher Middle School, said Turlock Police Department spokesman Sgt. Neil Cervenka. The Turlock Unified School District, which was in the perimeter area, also went into a lockdown.

The incident began around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when a report came in of a firearm being brandished at Sunnyview Park. The call described three men seen at the park, and later three men matching that description were seen walking on Colorado Avenue.

Officers attempted to stop the three men, but only two complied, while the third ran from the scene. The two men that stopped did not have any guns on them, Cervenka said.

The third man was seen in the area of Colorado Avenue and Marshall Street. The police department contacted TUSD to advise them of the situation and the District decided to order the lockdown, “out of an abundance of caution,” Cervenka said. No threats had been made to any of the schools or the students or staff. The District decided to include Dutcher in the lockdown because many students walk home in the path of the police perimeter.

Uniformed and non-uniformed personnel, including school resource officers and detectives, assisted with school site security and perimeter security. The suspect never entered any of the campuses.


Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Turlock Police Department at 209-668-1200. People can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or email at