Northwood High School in Irvine. Image via YouTube.com
Northwood High School in Irvine. Image via YouTube.com

A person with a male voice claiming to be a student who had locked himself in a bathroom with guns and explosives prompted lockdowns Thursday at Irvine’s Northwood High School and nearby Canyon View Elementary School, authorities said.

Irvine police were called about 1:40 p.m. regarding threats to Northwood, according to Annie Brown, a spokeswoman for the Irvine Unified School District.

As police responded to the call, the school was placed on lockdown, Brown said.

By 2:40 p.m., students were being released class by class so their parents could pick them up in front of the school, Brown said.

“In an abundance of caution” nearby Canyon View Elementary School was placed on a “soft lockdown,” Brown said.

Sheriff’s deputies sent over a helicopter and the bomb squad officers to assist Irvine police, sheriff’s Lt. Lane Lagaret said.

Irvine police received a call from a “male subject claiming to be a student who locked himself in a bathroom at Northwood, saying he had guns and explosives,” said Irvine police Commander Mike Hallinan.

“So we responded and immediately put the school in lockdown for precautionary measures and began a systematic search of the school,” Hallinan said.

Shortly before 4 p.m., police had not found any evidence the threats were being carried out, Hallinan said.

It “very possibly” could have been a hoax, Hallinan said.

“But you have to make sure the kids are safe,” Hallinan said.

The students at Canyon View have been released to their parents, Hallinan said.

— City News Service

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