After a very long, hot and drama-filled day, Santa Barbara School District officials say students at San Marcos High School are finally on their way home. El Camino School students were released earlier.
According to spokesperson Barbara Keyani, Santa Barbara County Sheriffs have completed their search of the campus, and groups of cleared students are being allowed to leave. Parents hoping to pick their children up are being directed to the Turnpike Shopping Center-the location of the alleged altercation between teenagers in which a handgun was reportedly brandished-to meet up with their kids. Otherwise, regular school buses are running.
For much of the afternoon, authorities made their way through the school, going classroom to classroom looking for a 16- to 19-year-old Hispanic suspect who was reported to have shown a gun during an early morning scuffle with other teenagers behind the Von’s in the Turnpike Shopping Center. Each time the deputies cleared a classroom, its students were escorted by an armed officer to the auditorium and the gym, where they remained until approximately 3:45 pm.
As of this writing, not all students have been released, but according to school authorities the process is underway. There is no word yet of any arrests.