March 28 gun scare resolved as a false alarm at Ventura High School


VHS Principal Marissa Cervantes said, “Our safety plans are used in various ways but the minute we received the initial information our safety plans went into effect by contacting our District offices and our School Resource Officer. From there we adhered to our safety plan throughout the investigation.” Photo by: Alejandro Hernandez

Alejandro Hernandez

Report leads to an investigation into a student’s potential firearm possession

The administration of Ventura High School received a report that a student was potentially in possession of a firearm on March 28 at approximately 12 p.m. The report was investigated by school resource officer (SRO) Tony Gomez and principal Marissa Cervantes, along with Ventura Unified School District staff and the Ventura Police Department. The accused student (whose name cannot be shared for privacy reasons) was found in possession of an airsoft gun. No real firearm was found. The investigative coalition, however, detected no malicious intent by the student.

At 3 p.m. on the same day, Cervantes sent an email to VHS staff on the incident. Cervantes said, “Today at approximately 12 p.m. we received a student report that another VHS student was possibly in possession of a firearm.  This report was taken very seriously.  SRO Gomez and I created and implemented a safety plan in collaboration with VUSD staff and VPD.  We quickly responded.  We found the student was in possession of an airsoft gun with an orange tip.  At this point in our investigation there is no evidence that the student caused or intended to cause harm.  The situation was handled quickly and was taken very seriously.  Both student and parents were cooperative.  If any student contacts you with information please direct them immediately to admin or the school resource officer.”

Sophomore Robert Wolfe said, “When I got home I got the email that popped up and I read it. It’s a sticky situation.” Photo by: Alejandro Hernandez

The report against the student was made on March 28. Cervantes said, “We received a student report that a VHS student may possibly be in possession of a firearm.  As we do with all reports of this nature, it was taken seriously and the VHS Administration team quickly worked with VPD and district staff to identify the student and bring them into the office to address the situation. The student was found to be in possession of an airsoft gun with an orange tip.”

Sophomore Robert Wolfe said, “I think that it’s a sticky situation. They could have just forgot it and now they’re in this situation.”

Cervantes said, “Due to student privacy laws we cannot comment on the student’s name. VPD initially did [the investigation].  They have completed their investigation. Ventura High School and the District are working through the disciplinary process. Thanks to a VHS community member, they saw something and said something to our administrative team. We keep all of these types of tips anonymous.”