UPDATE: 9 p.m. Dec. 14:
A man who along with two others was allegedly spotted with rifles in an open garage Friday across from Shivela Middle School in Murrieta has been arrested, police said.
Ex-con and drug registrant Sear Kamal Siddiqui, 30, was taken into custody near the school, Murrieta police said in a news release with updated information about the incident.
According to Murrieta police Sgt. Jay Froboese, at about 3:01 p.m a custodian at the middle school observed several males "holding long rifles" in the open garage of home in the 24000 block of Lincoln Avenue, across from the campus.
"The school resource officer Ontario Williams and Principal Marcie Kea were advised of the situation and elected to place the school on lockdown as a precaution," Froboese said.
Officers responded to the residence by 3:18 p.m., where they allegedly saw rifles in plain view of the garage, Froboese said.
As they approached the men, Froboese said one man allegedly ran inside the house.
Additional officers were summoned, and assisted in locating the man who was later identified as Siddiqui, Froboese said.
Siddiqui was booked on suspicion of being a convicted felon in possession of a gun and violating his probation, Froboese said.
Three long rifles—all unregistered—were taken in as evidence, the sergeant said.
The other men were questioned and released, he said.
A man seen walking with a gun Friday near Shivela Middle School prompted police to call a campus lock down.
The security measure was taken just before classes at Shivela Middle, 24515 Lincoln Ave., were due to let out for the day, school district and police officials confirmed.
"Somebody reported a man carrying a long gun near the school, so the school went on lock down of course," said Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad. "Officers located the suspect. He is a resident who lives nearby. It appears he was out in front of a home with what we think are weapons."
The suspect was detained pending questioning, according to the lieutenant.
The school bell rings at 3:10 p.m.; students were released at 3:28 p.m. after police gave the OK to lift the lock down.
"The kids were safe. We are just determining why he was walking around with a long gun and determining if there was any criminal activity there and of course the status of the gun," Conrad said.
An official from the Murrieta Valley Unified School District said they were notified of the police activity shortly before the school bell rang.
"It was just out of a sense of precaution," said Karen Parris, district spokesperson. "Police responded immediately and went to the house, and as soon as the situation was contained, they lifted the lock down."
The lock down came the same day of a mass school shooting in in which 20 children and six adults were killed. The coincidence alarmed some Murrieta parents as they waited for their children to be released from school.
Conrad explained there are five school resource officers assigned to Murrieta campuses, as well as a juvenile detective and a sergeant.
"We did notify patrol officers of the circumstances in Connecticut, and of course not having a nexus from Connecticut to Murrieta...we did notify patrol officers and advise them 'make sure you patrol your schools,'" Conrad said.
"Obviously you saw that go into effect," the lieutenant said.
Shivela Middle School Principal Marcie Kea sent the following notification to parents:
"This is Shivela Principal Marcie Kea calling to let you know that just before dismissal today we were instructed by Murrieta Police to go on lockdown due to reports of individuals with a rifle at a home near the school. During the lockdown, school and district administrators maintained contact with Murrieta police officers to monitor the situation. As soon as Police determined it was safe to do so, the lockdown was lifted and students were released to parents.
"Please be assured that at no time were students or staff in any danger. I know with the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut this morning everyone questions the safety of their own children and I want to assure you that we have plans and procedures in place to prevent or respond to such an event and keep our students and staff as safe as possible. We are sensitive to the heightened concerns of our students and parents as they have questions and concerns about our own processes and plans."
Kea went on to say that a dance planned Friday night at the middle school will still occur.
"We will have several staff members on hand to supervise. In addition Murrieta Police will be conducting extra patrols around the city this evening," Kea said.