Shortly after the 1:55 p.m. release bell, chaos erupted in the quad as students began to shout “lockdown” while hurrying into the nearest classrooms. Principal Joe Bova announced over the intercom that it was a soft lockdown, meaning students were not allowed to leave campus unless a parent or guardian was visibly waiting. The staff had heard the lockdown sirens from Ventura College, so they took precaution by entering soft lockdown.
26 year-old Luke William Ferguson was the suspect, wanted for a quadruple shooting in Aliso Viejo that resulted in a double homicide. The suspect was possibly seen near Dunning St. and Telegraph Road; the Ventura Police Department (VPD) released a statement on Facebook and Twitter saying that the Specialized Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team set up a perimeter in this area. Saint Bonaventure High School and Anacapa Middle School also went into lockdown earlier in the day.
Around 2:30 p.m., principal Joe Bova made a phone call to Foothill households informing them of the situation. Bova said that the VPD informed the school that they believed the situation was under control, so the students were then free to go.
Erin Gaynor ‘19 left when the students were initially released to get food with a friend only to receive texts telling her the school had gone into an official lockdown. Gaynor said, “isn’t that scary to think that you are at Subway, not protected by the school, when […] the school should have locked us down from the very get-go?”
Foothill was placed into a hard lockdown when the suspect was said to have been seen at the Starbucks on the corner of Day Road and Telegraph Road.
Science teacher Mika Anderson only discovered there was a problem when students rushed into her room with talk of a lockdown. When the school transitioned into a hard lockdown, Anderson said that “it didn’t last very long, which was a good thing.”
“I think it’s the first time that the students here thought it was a serious thing, because they were running to my classroom,” Anderson said. “A lot of the time when we do drills you don’t see that. […] Everybody was participating with turning off the blinds, and turning off the lights, and making sure everything was secure.”
Gaynor said that she felt the students were almost more prepared than the staff members in this situation. “We don’t understand the [seriousness] of it, so when the adults are freaking out, we’re freaking out.”
It was announced around 2:40 p.m. that Foothill’s campus was all clear and students were free to leave.
The VPD’s police scanner radio announced that the suspect was taken into custody earlier today in Inglewood, Calif.