LAPD reopens 101 ramps in Woodland Hills, but search for cop shooter continues
Los Angeles police allowed the onramps and offramps of the 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills to reopen in time for the evening rush hour, but said they would aggressively continue their search for the man who shot a school district police officer near El Camino Real High School.
"We will search into the night," said Los Angeles Police Capt. Kevin McClure. He asked for the public's help in identifying the gunman. "We feel pretty confident that there are people out in the neighborhood who have seen this individual."
The southern boundary of the perimeter set up by police is now Canzonet Street instead of the 101. The other boundaries remain the same: Valley Circle Boulevard to the west, Oxnard Street to the north and Fallbrook Avenue to the east.
Councilman Dennis Zine, who represents the area, said that even though people are inconvenienced by the manhunt, the Police Department will not cut the search short because of the danger the suspect could pose if he is in someone's backyard.
Around 5 p.m., school students were gradually being released from lock-downed schools, with some being moved off campus for pickup.
Megan Stoeckel, a senior at El Camino Real, said she and her fellow students were "really hungry and restless" after five hours on lockdown.
"We're painting each other's nails and watching the news and taking naps and talking," she said. "Our teacher, she's telling everyone to keep it under control."
Stoeckel said it was about 15 minutes into her fourth-period government class when an announcement came over the loudspeaker that the school was on lockdown.
The kids waited. A few people with snacks in their backpacks shared them. They waited some more.
At one point, three SWAT officers came in to check to see that the shooter wasn't in the class.
"They came in with their guns," Stoeckel said. "They even checked in the closet."
Outside, her mother, Julie Kertes, of Woodand Hills, was getting anxious.
"I have been getting texts from my daughters, who are saying that there is no food provided, that they can't go to the bathroom," she said. "It's, like, no big deal if they're going to be released pretty soon. But it is a big deal if it's going to go longer. My kids don't eat breakfast, and this happened right before their lunch break."
Nicole Arasteh, 18, a senior at El Camino Real, said she was in her fourth-period government class listening to her teacher talk about the judicial process when someone got a text message about the shooting "and it spread like wildfire."
"We all got distracted," she said, noting that the students watched TV news most of the day.
The lockdown occurred about 11:30 a.m. and there was no food for the students, Arasteh said.
"Everybody was starving," she said. "We all had to go to the bathroom in the trash can."
Arasteh said she wasn't scared. "I'm just desperate to get out," she said. "I'm really tired. I want to go to the bathroom, eat and sleep."
She said she didn't feel like going to school Friday after this ordeal.
"I just want to take the day off," she said.
-- Richard Winton, Kate Linthicum and Ching-Ching Ni
Interactive map: Shows location of shooting, nearby schools on lockdown and other information related to the shooting outside El Camino Real High School. Credit: Los Angeles Times