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California workplace shooting: Cupertino schools on alert

October 5, 2011 | 10:50 am

The search for the suspect in the fatal Northern California shooting

Schools in the Cupertino, Calif., area were reporting sparse attendance Wednesday as word spread that an armed man, suspected of killing two and wounding six at his workplace, remained at large.

The Cupertino Union School District, which operates the area's elementary and middle schools, informed parents its campuses were open and on high alert. 

"In light of today’s police activities in the city, please note that all schools in the district are open," a recorded message at the school said. "Based on the current information from law enforcement, all our students will be kept indoors until further notice."

The Fremont Union High School District sent an emergency notification by email and phone early Wednesday, informing parents of its 10,500 students "that due to a police emergency we were advising them to keep their students home," said public information officer Bettylu Smith.

Four of the five high schools have a 9:30 a.m. start time but the fifth -- Cupertino's Homestead High School -- began early and many parents did not receive the message on time.

The Homestead principal reported about 20% attendance, and "a couple of dozen" parents have come to take their children home, Smith said.

An additional notification was sent to parents to let them know that students had arrived.

"They were being kept inside and were in no immediate danger," Smith said.

The schools were employing a "shelter in place" approach with classes running and staff are on high alert, she said.

"We will continue keeping parents notified as more information becomes available from law enforcement agencies," Smith said. "We’re hopeful to hear soon that we’ve got an all clear."


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-- Lee Romney in San Francisco

Photo: The search for the suspect in the fatal Northern California shooting is underway. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press