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San Diego County man taken to mental-health facility after false call about school shooting

January 14, 2011 |  2:04 pm

A man in his 40s was taken Friday to a San Diego County mental-health facility for a 72-hour observation after allegedly making a call that led La Mesa police to rush to Helix Charter High School in anticipation of a possible shooting.

The call, made to the El Cajon Police Department, alleged that a shooting had occurred or was about to occur at the school, according to a spokesman for the La Mesa Police Department. 

Officials put the school on "secure-campus" status while police searched the buildings. Under "secure-campus" no one can enter or leave the school but students can continue to walk between classes.

After getting cellular calls from their teenagers, worried parents rushed to the school. News crews, including helicopters overhead, soon arrived.

After several hours, police determined that the call was unfounded. The caller, who has no connection with the school, was found and taken to a mental-health facility, said La Mesa Police Lt. Dan Willis.

"The school was safe all the time," Willis said. "No one was ever in any danger."


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego