A second day of violence shook the Los Angeles schools yesterday, with the shooting of a school police officer prompting officials to seal off a large swath of one area and place about 9,000 students on lockdown for hours, the Los Angeles Times reports. More than 350 officers swarmed through the West San Fernando Valley looking for the gunman, blocking people from entering or exiting a seven-square-mile area.
The shooting occurred just before noon adjacent to a high school, where officer Jeffrey Stenroos was patrolling. A gunman fired multiple shots at Stenroos, hitting him in the chest. A bulletproof vest prevented the bullet from penetrating his body, and his injuries are considered minor. The shootings came a day after a student brought a gun onto the campus of another high school. The gun accidentally went off in a classroom and two students were hit. The incidents brought a collective shudder throughout the district and calls for better security in and around schools. “We've never had two days like this in my 19 years here,” said school board member Steve Zimmer. “Guns in and around school create a special kind of fear.” Incoming school superintendent John Deasy promised to launch an assessment of all high schools to make sure they are following a policy that requires random weapons searches to be conducted every day. He said one of the schools involved had violated the policy by not doing enough random weapons checks of students.