Bassett High School lockdown over

BASSETT — Sheriff’s officials and school administrators placed Bassett High School on lockdown Thursday — the last day of school — after a student reported hearing talk of a shooting, authorities said.
The incident began just after noon at the high school, 755 Ardilla Ave.
“One kid overheard another student saying there was going to be a shooting after school,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Arthur Scott said.
The student notified a parent, who then called sheriff’s officials, Scott said.
The school was immediately placed on lockdown as patrol cars filled the neighborhood.
A junior at Bassett High School, Rene Payan, said students were told over the intercom system to stay in their classrooms, though they were not told why.
Class by class, sheriff’s deputies escorted the students in a single-file line from the campus through the rear exit on Puente Avenue, the student said.
Shortly after 2:15 p.m., the campus had been emptied of students, Watanabe said. Students were scheduled to be released at 12:15 p.m.
No weapons or evidence of a shooting plot was found, sheriff’s officials said, however the incident remains under investigation.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John McBride said authorities took the potential threat seriously.
The fact that the incident occurred on the last day of school, along with the fact that an 18-year-old man was shot and wounded in a drive-by shooting near the campus at Amar Road and Ardilla Avenue on June 5, added to officials’ concerns, McBride said.
As a precaution, the number of deputies on duty at Thursday night’s graduation ceremony was more than doubled, from nine to more than 18, authorities said.
“(Deputies) will be highly visible tonight,” Watanabe said. “You can’t take any chances.”
As she waited to pick up her brother from school, Zulema Carmona of West Covina said she was confident that the sheriff’s and school officials were keeping the students safe.
She added that she was concerned, however, because she and other parents had not been told why the lockdown had been ordered.
“If they don’t tell us why, I’m not going to feel safe enough to come back to the graduation,” she said.
The superintendent said parents of Bassett High School students were being notified through a phone system of what happened, and that the school was safe for the graduation ceremony.
The seniors were practicing their march when the lockdown began, Watanabe said.
The school choir sang to students who had to wait in the gym during the lockdown, he said. “The kids were very well-behaved,” he added.

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