Mountain View Voice

News - October 7, 2011

Schools go on lock-down with shooter at large

by Nick Veronin

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 on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Mountain View students at the science camp and students at the schools that closed are all safe, local education officials said.

Children from the Mountain View Whisman School District were 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.

Mountain View police earlier in the day said the department had received "unconfirmed information ... that the suspect has ties to an address located nearby" Mountain View and Alta Vista high schools. That information later proved to be false, police said.

The gunman opened fire on his fellow employees at a cement plant in Cupertino around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Oct. 5. Police were still 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 spree, which took place mainly at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant at 24001 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara County Sheriff's Lt. Rick Sung said. An additional victim was shot and injured in an attempted car-jacking nearby.

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 from Bubb and Stevenson elementary schools 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 high school was set to open its doors Thursday and resume its normal schedule, Groves said.

Police identified the suspected gunman as Shareef Allman, who allegedly opened fire on colleagues during an early morning meeting at the cement plant. Two victims were declared dead at the scene and a third later died at the hospital, police said. After firing on the group, he fled the work site and allegedly attempted to hijack a woman's car at gunpoint. The woman resisted 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, police said.

Allman is described as a black man in his late 40s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 215 pounds. At the time of the Voice went to press on Wednesday afternoon, 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.

"Mountain View residents are encouraged to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activities or people to the MVPD by calling the non-emergency number at 650-903-6395," Wylie said. "Anyone who believes they see the suspect should call 9-1-1 immediately and should not attempt to contact him or talk to him. Anyone with information about the immediate whereabouts of the suspect should call 9-1-1."

—Bay City News contributed to this report.

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