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'Gunshots' heard at Oxnard courthouse actually just construction noise

October 19, 2009 |  3:28 pm

Authorities have now determined that noise from a construction site and the subsequent sound of a shattering window led confused and startled people to believe that shots had been fired in a juvenile courthouse near Oxnard this morning.

Shortly after 9 a.m., the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department received a report of gunfire near the entrance of the Juvenile Justice Center in the 4300 block of Vineyard Avenue.

Witnesses described hearing up to four gunshots and said they saw a man in his 40s fleeing the scene.

“After looking at the security videos and the crime scene itself, it appears the window was not broken by a bullet at all,” Sheriff’s Capt. Bruce Norris said. It was not known what caused the window to break, however.

“There are a number of reasons why: It could be stress, temperature variations, it could be a door slamming,” Norris said.

Noise from nearby construction may have been confused with the sound of gunfire.

Lockdowns that were placed on the courthouse and a nearby high school were lifted by 1:30 p.m., Norris said.

-- Corina Knoll

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