March 7, 3:08 p.m.: Tehachapi schools were disrupted Friday afternoon, March 7, after two students at Tompkins Elementary School reported that a man with a weapon fired it towards the school.
According to Sgt. Keven Empey of the Tehachapi Police Dept., law enforcement responded. Tompkins School went into "lock down" as did Jacobsen Middle School and Tehachapi High School. Tompkins is located on South Curry Street within the City of Tehachapi; the high school and middle school are nearby, but not adjacent.
The call came at 1:45 p.m. and about an hour later schools had been declared "clear" and students were being released while law enforcement continued to investigate.
Empey told the Tehachapi News that there were inconsistencies in the reports of the two Tompkins students. One student said the man was on a grassy area near the corner of Pinon Street and South Curry Streets while the other said he was on a dirt area further east on Pinon.
The students reported the suspect as an adult male wearing black. Empey said there are no other witnesses.
Empey said police interviewed construction workers who were on Pinon Street at the time and said they denied seeing or hearing any gunshots.
Buses for Tompkins School can be expected to be running late; high school and middle school students were released from school on time.
Law enforcement responding to the reported incident included Tehachapi Police Dept., the California Highway Patrol, Stallion Springs and Bear Valley Springs Police Departments and the Kern County Sheriffs Office along with some off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriffs deputies who live in the Tehachapi area.
Additional information will be published as it becomes available.
Update, March 7, 5:23 p.m.: A third student witness has told police that the suspect had an airsoft gun and was firing orange pellets towards the school, according to Sgt. Keven Empey. The student was "pretty positive" it was an airsoft gun, Empey said.
The third witness confirmed the suspect was a teenaged or adult male who was wearing black.
"The report at this point is unsubstantiated and is under further investigation," Empey wrote in a release.
SCOTT CAMP of the Tehachapi News provided reporting for this article.