Science camp on lock-down with gunman at large

A shooting in Cupertino caused a science camp in Saratoga to go on lock-down and a number of Mountain View schools to close for the day. Mountain View students at the science camp and students at the schools that closed are all safe, local education officials said Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Children from the Mountain View Whisman School District are currently attending an overnight science camp program in the Saratoga hills, according to Craig Goldman, superintendent of the Whisman district. After the shooting the camp immediately went into lockdown; later in the day two high schools and a preschool in Mountain View shut down as well.

A gunman opened fire on his fellow employees at a cement plant in Cupertino around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Oct. 5. Police are searching for the gunman, prompting the science camp to place its grounds on lock-down.

Three people are dead and six others were wounded in the shooting, which took place at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant at 24001 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara County Sheriff's Lt. Rick Sung said.

Goldman said he had personally driven to the Walden West Science Center, located off of Highway 9 in Saratoga, about 11 miles by car from the cement plant where the shooting took place. He said that the precautions taken by officials at the science camp were to his satisfaction, noting that the children were able to continue participating in activities.

Barry Groves, superintendent of the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District said that police instructed Mountain View High School, Alta Vista High School, and the Mountain View Parent Preschool to shut down at about 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 5. All students there had gone home for the day, he said, due to an early release day that had already been scheduled. No students, nor any school faculty or staff were ever in danger, Groves said.

The schools were shut down because police received information indicating that the suspect may have ties to a residence near the schools -- a rumor that was later found to be false.

Students from Bubb and Stevenson elementary schools are at the science camp.

"The kids were safe and they were actually able to continue to participate in the program," Goldman said.

Police identified the suspected gunman as Shareef Allman, who allegedly opened fire on colleagues during an early morning meeting at the cement plant. After firing on the group, he fled the work site and allegedly attempted to hijack a woman's car at gunpoint; the woman refused and he shot her once.

The woman was taken to a local hospital and is being treated for her injuries, which are not considered life threatening.

Allman is described as a black man in his late 40s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 215 pounds. At the time this report was filed, Allman remained at large, and police and sheriff's deputies said he is considered armed and dangerous. He is believed to be carrying a rifle and a handgun, said Sung.

Bay City News contributed to this report.


Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I like this Goldman guy. More action than empty words compared to the last empty suit that ran the district.

Like this comment
Posted by Liza Levin
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm

The District has done a fantastic job keeping the parents of these students well informed.

Like this comment
Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Yep, I just got an email from the district as well. Kudos to them for keeping us parents informed.

Like this comment
Posted by MV mom of 2
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm

BIG kudos to MVWSD and MVLA - they've handled this situation brilliantly!

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm

They locked down a camp that's 11 miles driving from the cement plant? Bubb School is only 6.8 miles from the cement plant according to Google. Did they have information that he was headed toward Saratoga and not Mountain View?

Like this comment
Posted by Charlene
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I'm not surprised Craig checked on this personally. I work for the distict as a Yard Duty and he has been available to people as they need him. Thats my experience.

Like this comment
Posted by Bubb mom too
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm

@Bob, good question. If you've ever driven to where the camp is, it is way the heck up there and not that easy to find. I guess they were worried about him heading for the hills to hide. Better safe than sorry. Thanks to the MVWSD for keeping up with issue and keeping us informed.

Like this comment
Posted by mom
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 6, 2011 at 10:25 am

To Bob: The quarry is 1/4 of a mile away from the science camp. So Bob, I feel they did the right thing in placing the camp on lockdown, especially when so many children were at risk. That was a very wise decision the school district made.

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