LEMOORE — Hundreds of parents parked their cars three quarters of a mile away hoping their children were OK and wishing there was nothing to be scared about.
“I’d really like to squeeze my son right about now,” Amy Ward said.
Ward like many other parents, grandparents, siblings and other relatives left their job or whatever they were doing to make sure the students at the West Hills College area were OK.
Before noon Tuesday, police responded to a call that a possible shooter was on the West Hills College Lemoore campus.
[UPDATE: Police have arrested three juveniles in connection with this incident.]
Dale Dotson, an EMS operations coordinator, stood back with other personnel and five of the emergency vehicles.
“I hope it is going to be a big practice drill,” Dotson said.
After a little over an hour, the campus was deemed clear while police and college students with vehicles began to trickle out of the college.
After the Lemoore Police Department received the call of the shooter they notified the school officials who immediately put the school on lockdown, notified the students and staff and contacted the parents.
Lemoore Police, Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department, Kings County Sherriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and Hanford Police Department were some of the agencies present.
Ward said that she was impressed by the response, efficiency and collaboration that the law enforcement agencies took.
“As the Lemoore Chamber CEO, I am impressed,” Ward said. “As a mom, I couldn’t be more grateful than I am.”
The police went through each room to make sure there was no shooter, any victims or any other threat to students.
The helicopter that was there in case of a serious injury began to take off and a sense of relief could be seen on some of the parents’ faces.
Police determined that there was no evidence that shots had been fired and that the call was a false alarm.
This is not the first false alarm for Lemoore this year. Lemoore High School had a false alarm of a possible shooting.
In a separate incident Lemoore High School had a student bring a gun to campus late February according to police.
At the West Hills College Lemoore campus, there is also a child development center, Lemoore Middle College High School and Lemoore University Elementary Charter School. Around 5,000 students were affected by Tuesday’s event.
The warning the college sent out urged students on campus to stay where they were or students off campus to not come to campus until cleared.
After all was said and done, the students returned to their regularly scheduled classes a press release from West Hills College Lemoore said.