Possible Suspect in Shooting Near California School Caught

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
October 22, 2019USshare
Possible Suspect in Shooting Near California School Caught
Police officers search for a suspect in a shooting at Ridgway High School in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Oct. 22, 2019. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat via AP)

Police have caught a possible suspect in a shooting near a Northern California high school on Oct. 22 that wounded one person and put thousands of students in three schools on lockdown.

It’s not clear where the suspect was caught after a less than two-hour manhunt, but TV footage from a helicopter showed a boy or man being led away in handcuffs while students were taken out of a building and searched.

Witnesses told police that the shooter fired three to four rounds near Ridgway High School in Santa Rosa before running away, police Sgt. Summer Gloeckner said.

Ridgway high school
Aerial view of Ridgway High School in Santa Rosa, California. (Screenshot/Google Maps)

Police said the shooting was originally reported on the campus north of San Francisco but now says it was close to the school.

A male victim was shot at least once, reportedly in the abdomen, Gloeckner said. The extent of his injuries was not immediately clear.

“We’re not sure if the suspect and victim knew each other,” she said.

Authorities were still searching the campus for any other possible suspects, Gloeckner said. Police also were looking for the assailant’s handgun.

There were no further reports of violence on the campus, police said in a statement.

Officers were called to the high school just before 9 a.m., after classes had begun. Officials locked down the school, as well as nearby Santa Rosa High School and Santa Rosa Junior College.

School district officials referred questions to police but tweeted that “students are safe. Lockdown in place to keep everyone safe.”

Ridgway High, about 55 miles north of San Francisco, has about 250 students and is an alternative continuation school for Santa Rosa High, which has about 2,000 students.

Santa Rosa Junior College has about 14,000 students on that campus, although it’s unclear how many were there at the time.

Facts About Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.

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