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Valley View Elementary placed on lockdown due to stray bullet hitting classroom

Valley View Elementary School in Coachella was placed on lockdown Tuesday morning after a stray bullet struck a classroom.

The lockdown has since been lifted, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

According to a letter sent out by Valley View Elementary School Principal Zamudio, a stray bullet entered a classroom and hit the ceiling. Students and staff were not harmed.

News Channel 3 reached out to the Superintendent Dr. Maria Gandera on the incident, who provided the following statement:

There was an incident in the community. As a result Valley View went on lockdown. All students and staff are fine. We are working with the Sheriffs and Fire Department to ensure a continued safe situation for our students. The important thing is all our students and staff are safe.

The reports of gunshots came in at 10:26 a.m., according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s department. The lockdown was enacted as a precautionary measure. Deputies have responded to the 85200 block of Valley Road to investigate.

A news release by the Sheriff’s Department revealed authorities gathered evidence that led them to a possible suspect residence in the 52000 block of Nelson Avenue. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau served a search warrant at the residence but was not able locate the suspect.

Valley Road was shut down between Morgan Avenue and Nelson Avenue for the investigation, but reopened at around 4:30 p.m.

According to Valley View Elementary School parents, students are now being picked up on Adam Lane near Avenue 53.

Principal Zamudio’s letter to parents, in full:

Dear Valley View Parents,

This morning around 10:30 a.m. an incident in the community resulted in a stray bullet entering the ceiling area of a classroom. Students and staff were evaluated and there were no reported injuries. The school remained in a lockdown protocol while police and fire responded to the scene to conduct a thorough investigation. Information was sent out to school families via the district all call system earlier today, assuring that ALL students and staff were safe. Valley View Elementary School was declared safe, however, as the situation outside the school is still actively being investigated, a staged release of students began at 1:20 p.m. via a rear school gate off of Adams Road. All after school activities included ASES and Migrant Program has been cancelled [sic] for Tuesday.

We appreciate your patience and trust during this incident. Student safety is always our highest priority. School will be in session tomorrow following a normal Wednesday schedule.


Mrs. Zamudio


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In a post on Thermal Sheriff’s Station’s Facebook page, a view of a drone near sheriff’s vehicle was shown as being utilized in the area.

A News Channel 3 news team is on scene. Stay with us for the latest updates on this developing story.


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