Pinoys students safe after nearby shooting prompts school lockdown

VALLEJO, Calif. – Police arrested Vallejo resident Zachery Kroll, 19, at around late Thursday night on suspicion of shooting and killing 17-year-old Kenneth Maxwell Rusk near a high school campus.

Vallejo police responded to reports of a shooting at about 11:55 a.m on Thursday.

They later found the victim about 100 yards from the trail head located between Jesse Bethel High School and Joseph Wardlaw Elementary School, both of which have a high number of Pinoy students.

Police immediately ordered a lockdown on both schools.

“A bunch of the kids were outside but then a few seconds after they left, they all rushed back in and they were running in and then they were all getting pushed in by the campus supervisors and were telling them to get inside and we were on lockdown,” said Randall Navarra Monte, a senior at Bethel.

“I feel scared at first but once it was happening I felt more calm and safe since everyone was saying we were going to be fine,” said Kaelanee Navarra Mendoza, a junior at Bethel.

The family members also feared for their safety but were satisfied with how the schools took the necessary precautions to keep the children safe.

“As a parent of course you’re going to be scared and nervous at the same time. You don’t know what’s going on,” said Princess Navarra, who is Kaelanee’s mother. “I put my trust in the administration that all protocols were met and they have contacted the proper authorities.”

“It’s good to know they let us know that they’re all right and they were canceling all the after school programs just to get them out of the area as soon as possible,” said Leander Navarra Monte who is Randall’s older brother and who also has a sister at Wardlaw.

The fatal shooting marks the city’s eighth homicide this year and these kababayans unfortunately say they have gone through this routine before.

“I’ve been in Vallejo schools for how long already and I generally feel safe when this happens,” said Randall.

The victim’s family is planning to hold a vigil each day for the next two weeks as they continue to mourn their loss call for the end of violence.

Follow Rommel Conclara on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

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