Update: Schools Lockdown Prompted by Countywide Gang Sweep

U.S. Marshals were in the community as part of a fugitive task force operation. There were no arrests in Coronado. The school lockdown lasted 15 minutes.

Update 4:30 p.m. Tuesday with information from the U.S. Marshal Service.


A man determined to be a U.S. Marshal was seen on E Avenue carrying a rifle Tuesday morning, alarming some residents, before authorities learned he was part of a San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force operation.

Coronado police called for a brief lockdown at all Coronado Unified School District campuses, four of which are in the immediate vacinity of the 500 block of E Avenue, where the man was seen.

The report came in at 8:50 a.m. and the lockdown was put in place, but lifted 15 minutes later, according to Superintendent Jeffrey Felix.

A parent reported that a child texted about the district's decision to shut down campuses, but wasn't told why the emergency was in effect.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Omar Castillo, a spokesman for the Southern District of California, said up to five marshals were in Coronado to serve a warrant as part of a gang sweep that was ongoing throughout San Diego County.

Castillo said the deputy marshals were wearing vests or other attire that identified them as federal agents. The marshal who was spotted by a citizen was holding an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

“That can happen at times and can happen with any law enforcement agency,” Castillo said.

No arrests were made in Coronado, though several individuals were questioned, the spokesman added.

The gang sweep, which was being led by the San Diego County Sheriffs Department, netted at least one arrest in San Diego, of a murder suspect wanted in Maryland.

There was a search at that scene, at 32nd Street and Market Street, after the suspect fled, but he was later taken into custody, Castillo said. Officers, deputies and marshals assisting in the sweep were also out in Chula Vista and National City, where they arrested up to five people.

Castillo said the final tally for arrests related to the sweep would not be in until at least late Tuesday.

The initial report of the armed man was offered to Coronado police, according to the city, by passersby who said a friend saw him.

Alarmed police urged citizens to report such serious incidents via 911 immediately and not to wait to flag down officers or just warn friends of the danger.

The city said the U.S. Marshals Service will be contacted to determine why community officials weren't notified that such a sweep was taking place.

Castillo said no formal discussion had taken place by the late afternoon, but maintained that his agency has a good relationship with Coronado police.

J February 12, 2013 at 07:34 PM
It makes common sense NOT to give that type of information out to keep your students safe.
Jp eloquence February 12, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Way to go e brown! Why don't you tell everyone your home address and social security number too...
Jp eloquence February 12, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Funny, comments keep getting rejected. There is an obvious problem with the moderation on this site.
Libi Uremovic February 12, 2013 at 09:47 PM
'...Police located the armed individual and determined he was a marshal searching for an unidentified fugitive....' wasn't he wearing a uniform or something...?
Erin Brown February 13, 2013 at 12:41 AM
I deleted my panicked comment, but what I want to know is... when there is a lockdown of this type, is it the same as when someone has entered the school? Am I going to have a child coming home who thinks he was about to die and is therefore completely freaked out, or did the teacher simply shut/lock the door and continue instruction as normal. I have a child who has been through a lot in the last couple of years, and if he was put into a lockdown where he believed a madman may be bursting into the room at any moment to try to kill him, I would like to know so that when he gets home from school I am aware of how much therapy I may need to invest in. They had a drill recently and the children were told about what happened in Sandy Hook and it absolutely freaked my son out (the never considered notion that someone would want to kill children). In our case, I am SO HAPPY that he ran a fever in the middle of the night and was not at school, but I'd like to be prepared the next time something like this happens.


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