Police activity at Longfellow Middle School (Berkeleyside)
BERKELEY – A report that an armed man was outside of a school in a mostly residential South Berkeley neighborhood triggered an emergency lockdown on September 6, as police officers swarmed into the area and searched for him.
The end of the school day took an ominous turn when a police dispatcher received call about a man seen brandishing a gun at another person, near the intersection of Sacramento and Ward streets shortly after 3:30 p.m., only one block away from Longfellow Middle School at 1500 Derby Street..
As police sirens blared outside, responsible adults inside implemented emergency lockdown procedures for students at the school.
Officers cordoned off the area, closed a section of Sacramento Street, and diverted traffic away to create a public safety perimeter while they searched.
Police kept in constant contact with school officials, mindful of the safety of students and staff. Meanwhile, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders remained locked inside the school for 45 minutes, until police located and arrested the man. No students or staff were harmed.
The suspect who was arrested, 56-year-old Vincent Turner, is charged with child endangerment, exhibiting a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of firearm by an addict, and illegal possession of ammunition.