Statement on Southwestern College Lockdown

Yesterday our college leadership made the decision to place the Chula Vista campus on lockdown. At approximately 1 pm yesterday, our Campus Police had received a call from Chula Vista Police regarding an incident at Bonita Vista High School. Chula Vista Police informed us that a person had brandished what looked like a handgun at the high school and that the suspect could be heading to the Chula Vista campus.

Due to an abundance of caution, we placed the campus on lockdown and advised faculty, staff and students to shelter in place. We provided information through the loud speaker on the blue emergency poles (funded by Proposition R) and also sent emails, phone calls and text messages through the District’s emergency callout system.

In addition to our students attending summer session classes, we also had College for Kids (CFK) students attending classes. We informed those parents through email and College for Kids staff called each of the CFK instructors to keep their students locked in their classrooms. The Child Development Center also implemented its emergency protocol system and notified parents to assure them their children were safe.

At approximately 2 pm, Campus Police was confident the suspect was not on campus and lifted the lockdown. Campus Police also personally escorted all College for Kids students to Lot H where parents were instructed to pick up their children.

By the end of the day, Chula Vista Police notified our Campus Police that the suspect had been identified and was now in custody. The weapon was a replica handgun.

We are grateful for all the faculty, staff, administrators and students who kept calm during the incident. We also want to thank Campus Police for their swift action and their constant commitment to the safety of all of us on campus.

College leadership has already begun debriefing the incident and has found ways for our continuous improvement in addressing these ever-fluid emergencies.

This incident is also a good reminder for everybody to ensure your emergency contact information is updated in WebAdvisor, as the emergency call out system draws from the information in WebAdvisor to send notifications.