Science camp on lock-down with gunman at large


A shooting in Cupertino caused a science camp in Saratoga to go on lock-down and a number of Mountain View schools to close for the day. Mountain View students at the science camp and students at the schools that closed are all safe, local education officials said Wednesday (Oct. 5).

Children from the Mountain View Whisman School District are currently attending an overnight science camp program in the Saratoga hills, according to Craig Goldman, superintendent of the Whisman district. After the shooting the camp immediately went into lockdown; later in the day two high schools and a preschool in Mountain View shut down as well.

A gunman opened fire on his fellow employees at a cement plant in Cupertino around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Oct. 5. Police are searching for the gunman, prompting the science camp to place its grounds on lock-down.

Three people are dead and six others were wounded in the shooting, which took place at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant at 24001 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara County Sheriff's Lt. Rick Sung said.

Goldman said he had personally driven to the Walden West Science Center, located off of Highway 9 in Saratoga, about 11 miles by car from the cement plant where the shooting took place. He said that the precautions taken by officials at the science camp were to his satisfaction, noting that the children were able to continue participating in activities.

Barry Groves, superintendent of the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District said that police instructed Mountain View High School, Alta Vista High School, and the Mountain View Parent Preschool to shut down at about 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 5. All students there had gone home for the day, he said, due to an early release day that had already been scheduled. No students, nor any school faculty or staff were ever in danger, Groves said.

Students from Bubb and Stevenson elementary schools are at the science camp.

"The kids were safe and they were actually able to continue to participate in the program," Goldman said.

Police identified the suspected gunman as Shareef Allman, who allegedly opened fire on colleagues during an early morning meeting at the cement plant. After firing on the group, he fled the work site and allegedly attempted to hijack a woman's car at gunpoint; the woman refused and he shot her once.

The woman was taken to a local hospital and is being treated for her injuries, which are not considered life threatening.

Allman is described as a black man in his late 40s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 215 pounds. At the time this report was filed, Allman remained at large, and police and sheriff's deputies said he is considered armed and dangerous. He is believed to be carrying a rifle and a handgun, said Sung.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:13 am

Is this the same science camp site that Palo Alto middle schools (6th grade) attend in October?

Like this comment
Posted by M16
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

The gunman is reportedly using a M16 army assault rifle. How did he get one of those?

Like this comment
Posted by McGrude
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

@M16 -- An M16 is the military, full auto version of the Colt AR15. They are nearly indistinguishable at a distance. The AR15 is legal to own (with clip size, and other restrictions).

Like this comment
Posted by FACT
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm

AR15s do not use clips, neither do AK47s, all semi auto handguns, etc. They use Magazines. It is not an interchangeable word. To put it in terms your average Palo Alto folk might understand, A gas guzzling hummer and a Hybrid Prius are both vehicles, but totally different. Same with a clip and a magazine, a clip might hold ammunition but I havn't seen a firearm made since WW2 that uses clips.

An M16 is an AR15 (armalite model 15) but an AR15 is not an M16 or M4.

I have yet to see any article or news agency state he used an AR15, so I am not going to assume, but since it was mentioned already I will provide some information.

AR15s are legal for civilian ownership because they are semi automatic rifles with barrels longer then 16 inchs (in rifle format, there are pistols made off the AR15 platform, but thats another topic) That is all federal law and applies across the union.

In California an AR15 has to have a bullet button which requires a tool to reload the magazine in and out of the rifle, thus making it a locked magazine. (instead of just pushing a button) and is limited to magazines that only hold 10 rounds of ammunition.

Just remember, its not the AR15s fault, it is this deranged gentleman with evil intentions. These rifles are very popular for collectors, shooters and military enthusiasts, and are used by law enforcement and civilians for protection.

Like this comment
Posted by Yank
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I think we can hold off on this debate until he's actually caught. Reports of what type of gun or weapon a suspect uses are frequently wrong, and also most members of the news media wouldn't know a .22 from a .223, and just use terms interchangeably and inaccurately like "assault rifle" "military style" etc.
Some people have died, the suspect is at large, and that's all we really know.
Also, this guy hosted a public access show. You can see some of his videos on YouTube. Tragic and bizarre.

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Have they found him yet?

He was pretty cold blooded

" Taking a stance he had practiced often at shooting ranges with his .40-caliber handgun, Allman methodically moved down the line of coworkers, firing at each one until they fell, then moving to the next as if he were taking target practice, authorities say.

When he was done, three lay dead, and six more were injured."

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by middleschooler
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm

@ the person who asked about the science camps: we went to a science camp in the Marin headlands, but i'm not sure about JLS and Jordan.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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