May 11, 2009

Fears of gun-toting suicidal man that prompted school lockdowns ends without incident

Update May 12: The blogger the DUBC reported that the man who started the whole Monday SWAT operation was arrested Tuesday when he broke into his girlfriend's apartment. Lt. Tim Barrett identified the man as Richard Johnson, who was arrested on a probation violation stemming from the incident and transported to County Jail.

Update 5:30 p.m. Police found no one inside the Creekside Drive apartment where they thought a suicidal gun-toting had man barricaded inside.

Here's the official press release from Lt. Mark Perlite, and it turns out this incident was breaking around the same time as the Rossmoor Wells Fargo Bank robbery:

At 10:25 a.m., officers from the Walnut Creek Police Department responded to the 1400 block of Creekside Drive regarding a male acting strangely. After arrival officers learned that the subject may have been in a nearby apartment, possibly had access to firearms, and may have been suicidal. The Walnut Creek Police SWAT and bomb teams responded and used a robot to gain entry to the apartment, which appeared to be empty. Due to the possibility of firearms being involved, two local schools were put in a lockdown status until the situation was resolved.

2:07 p.m. is reporting that a suicidal man in an apartment along Creekside Drive is what prompted the lockdown at Las Lomas High School and at Murwood elementary, which is across the Ironhorse Trail and South Broadway from the Creekside Drive area.

The Contra Costa Times said the case involves a domestic dispute, and that the girlfriend of the man was able to get out of the apartment, which is the 1400 block of Creekside Drive, just south of Las Lomas High School. The man was still inside one of the units.

The Mayor of Claycord says the department's SWAT team and other emergency responders are all at the scene.

A total of three schools were on lockdown, and that includes my son's school, which is closer to the Rossmoor shopping center, where today's bank robbery occurred.

The Acalanes and Walnut Creek school districts have locked down their schools at least three times in the more than a year for crimes occurring in or near downtown, and that includes the March 2008 home-invasion murder in the Saranap neighborhood and this past October's bank robbery at the Washington Mutual at South Main Street and Newell Avenue.

Whether it was this SWAT response to the suicidal man or the bank robbery earlier today that prompted these school lockdowns, Walnut Creek police are having a pretty stressful day. I hope that this SWAT incident ends without anyone--the police, the man, or anyone else--getting hurt.


Masterlock said...

See, now that makes more sense. As soon as I heard Los Lomas, I was thinking the druggies in creekside are up to something. Do you like parkmead? I went to Dorris Eaton and always thought parkmead looked cool.

Anonymous said...

People who live in Walnut Creek are such trash.

-Orinda Resident

Anonymous said...

The SWAT team indeed had a busy day which was topped off by an appearance at the Character Counts graduation for WC school's fifth graders. Tax dollars were hard at work impressing fifth grade students and their parents with motorcycles, the SWAT team, and the K-9 unit on stage at the Lesher Center. I hope my child is now scared straight and will say no to drugs.

Creekside Resident said...

Hey Masterlock, not everyone on Creekside is a druggie. Stop characterizing people unfairly.

Corporate property managers are renting to ANYONE these days, sucks that no one does a double take for background checks.

There is an idiot in every neighborhood, mine and yours.

Anonymous said...

If you live in Creekside, you are a druggie. Its like a definition or something, maybe you creeksiders should consider going somewhere to get dried out.

Masterlock said...

Creekside Resident, I'm sorry and you are right - it is unfair to characterize everyone in that neighborhood one way just because of a few examples I've met over the years. Of course there are some honest hard working people in that neighborhood, I just lived there for a year or so after college and have some bad memories.

Soccer Mom said...

I was at the 4 p.m. Character Counts graduation. At the Lesher Center in a room filled with students and parents. I don't know. The kids were all pretty stoked and they loudly cheered for their Character Counts instructor/officer.

The SWAT team was not at this graduation, but five motorcycle cops were. One of the officers said mentioned that the SWAT team normally would be there, but wasn't because of a situation that had already been resolved.

I'm not going to say if it's right or wrong for the city to spend the money on this event. I don't know how much of the Character Counts lessons the kids will take with them. It was great PR for the police department, a good community relations builder. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe that's a waste.

The lockdown issue is another one, though, that I wonder about. Whether the police and schools have a protocol in place. Because the communications regarding the lockdowns, the reason for them, what parents knew, whether they needed to leave work to pick up their kids did not, shall I say, go as smoothly as some would like, including in the opinion of one school official I talked to.

Oh, and Dorris Eaton was also on lockdown.

Masterlock said...

I'd imagine it would be confusing and terrifying for a parent being given so little information, how do the kids take it? Was you son freaked out or do they treat it as almost a fire drill type of thing?

Anonymous said...

Character Counts is great PR for WCPD and it does indeed teach children the dangers of drugs. I just question the need for such a spectacle given the fact the the city has issues with the budget and that the police department is taxed keeping downtown in order.

My child attends Murwood and Murwood has been in lockdown four times this year. Each time parents have been informed of the issue after the fact. It surprises me that Walnut Creek School District does not have some type of automatic phone dialing system to alert parents or utilize some type of phone tree. The emergency response of our school surprises me given the true emergency that Murwood has exeperienced with the Broadway pipeline explosion. This is something that the district needs address and parents will need to push for a solution. I do have to commend the teachers and staff at Murwood for putting their personal safety at risk to protect the children. Murwood had staff and teachers at the driveway entrance letting parents know that the school was in lock down and that we needed to park and sign our children out. My child was unaffected by the whole thing because she could not even tell me why the school was in lock down. Her class could not go to their classroom because they are in one of the portable building so they got to watch a movie in the library all afternoon.

I love your blog. Thank you for keeping us informed.

Anonymous said...

One, only the messed up people here do drug not all.. I am a creeksider and I am proud to be one as I am a leader of the WC Diablos... People here probably have more guts then people at your pretty boy neighberhood. Creekside has a creek down there is the bomb. I grew up in creekside and loved every minute of it....Signing out Tango

Anonymous said...

Having WCPD do a dog and pony show with motors, K9, and SWAT to entertain a bunch of screaming 5th graders is waste, pure and simple. I would rather have them patrolling the streets. I heard SWAT came to the last two ceremonies but weren't at the first one because of the Creekside incident.

This is a joke.