UPDATED: Car Shot on I-780, SWAT Called; Benicia School Lockdown Lifted

Robert Semple school is near I-780 where shots possibly originated, police said.

Robert Semple Elementary School in Benicia.
Robert Semple Elementary School in Benicia.
UPDATED: Monday, March 31, 5:15 p.m.

SWAT teams in Benicia are searching for a suspect who ran from a highway crash and might be connected to an earlier shooting on Interstate Highway 780, a police spokesman said.

The suspect is believed to have shot at a man in car who spun out near the East Second Street off-ramp on westbound I-780 at about 1:30 p.m., Benicia police Lt. Frank Hartig said.

Police found bullet holes in his car. The man was not hit by gunfire and did not need to be transported to a hospital after the incident, police said.

A short time later, a collision was reported further west on I-780 near the Southampton Road off-ramp.

A dark green car there had crashed and a suspect had run from the scene, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The suspect, described as a male wearing dark clothing and a sweatshirt, jumped a chain link fence and was last seen on Warwick Drive, according to the CHP.

Hartig said evidence was found in the area indicating that the suspect who fled had been the one shooting at the car found on East Second Street.

The Benicia and Vallejo police SWAT team responded and locked down an apartment complex in the area.

Police are working to clear each building by searching for the suspect and have established a command post at Warwick and Chelsea Hills drives, Hartig said.

"We've got a lot of work still to go," Hartig said.

Robert Semple Elementary School at 2015 E. Third St. was put on lockdown at about 1:50 p.m. after the initial reports of the highway shooting, Hartig said.

 Parents were notified and the lockdown was lifted about 30 minutes later.


Monday, March 31, 2:40 p.m.

A Benicia elementary school is on lockdown this afternoon after an incident along a nearby highway and a report of shots fired near the campus, a police spokesman said.

Robert Semple Elementary School at 2015 E. Third St. was put on lockdown at about 1:50 p.m., a school district employee said.

There was an incident along nearby Interstate Highway 780 and reports of shots fired near the campus, Benicia police Lt. Frank Hartig said.

He said that the incident may have continued down the freeway to another off-ramp but that investigators are still trying to piece together what exactly happened.

The school was placed on lockdown for "precautionary reasons" and the investigation into the reports is an "evolving situation," Hartig said.

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Tracy Youles-Nolasco March 31, 2014 at 06:17 PM
I heard at least 7 or 8 gunshots & it was at 1:37. I live in the Highlands & thought it was maybe coming from the apartment complex across the street from Robert Semple
jeffandcaseyp March 31, 2014 at 08:20 PM
Are there any updates on this? Descriptions??
Susan C. Schena March 31, 2014 at 08:22 PM
Just updated: re-click on story.


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