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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Reports of gunfire at Balboa High School lead to four school lockdowns

Balboa High School student Carolina Mendiola and her mother Teresa embrace after Carolina was released from the school following a lockdown due to reports of a shooting on campus in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (Christian Urrutia/Golden Gate Xpress)

Reports of gunfire at Balboa High School led to four school lockdowns and one non-life-threatening injury earlier today around noon, according to the San Francisco Police Department. Four student have been detained.

According to the San Francisco Police Department, the incident put Balboa High School, James Denman Middle School, San Miguel Early Elementary School and Leadership High School on lockdown and armored police officers shut down surrounding streets.

Two students reported hearing a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot.

“I was late to English and I was walking up the stairs and I just hear a pop,” said a freshman at Balboa High School. “So I run to my English class and they say the school is on lockdown.”

She described how her class performed a safety procedure, hiding in a corner of the room. She believed they were performing a drill until police sirens blared outside.

SFPD wrote on Twitter that “one person sustained a non-life-threatening injury during this incident,” but could not confirm if the injury was due to gunfire. The SFPD reported that they recovered a firearm at the scene.

Gentle Blythe, interim deputy superintendent of strategic partnerships and communications, said that students would be dismissed for the day and most would take public transportation home. She added that all other students were going to remain with their respective teachers and meet their parents at a reunification site.

Multiple students believed that the lockdown was a drill and said they were scared.

“I was on the floor for two hours,” the freshman student said. “My legs are like, shaky. It was like crazy. I didn’t know what to do.”



Correction: August 31, 2018


An earlier version of this article misstated the legal status of one the the four students detained in response to reports of gunfire at Balboa High School. A photo in the gallery accompanying the article improperly identified the individual in the photo as an alleged suspect. Xpress has no verification that the individual appearing to be detained by police was an alleged suspect.


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About the Contributor
Aaron Levy-Wolins
Aaron Levy-Wolins, Xpress Magazine Photo Editor
Aaron Levy-Wolins is a senior photojournalism student who specializes in portraiture. He has spent multiple semesters with the Golden Gate Xpress newspaper, working as a photographer. San Francisco Bay Area born and bred, his work has been published in SFBay, El Tecolote, and Broke-Ass Stuart.  While his passion is photography, he loves watching movies and cooking. He plans to freelance and travel after graduation.

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    Ivan C.Aug 31, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    The photo that was removed of the minor is now being circulated and his personal reputation has been tainted. I have worked with that youth and his family for years and he was not involved in the incident as a suspect. If anything, he was a victim handcuffed by SFPD! Your reporting was not supportive of this minor, his family and his community.

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Reports of gunfire at Balboa High School lead to four school lockdowns