OAKLAND -- A report of what turned out to be a paintball gun on campus forced a lockdown at Claremont Middle School for nearly two hours Tuesday morning.
Just before 8:30 a.m., BART police received an anonymous tip from someone who noticed a group of three students walking toward the school as one of them placed what appeared to be an assault weapon into a green backpack, according to a letter to parents from Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint.
The school was immediately placed on lockdown and police did a walk-through of the school, located at 5750 College Ave. in the Rockridge district, but found nothing, police spokesman Frank Bonifacio said.
The lockdown ended about 10:15 a.m., and police continued to search the school area and interview students. Eventually the investigation led officers to an area near a portable structure where an unloaded paintball gun was buried. The imitation gun was a model used for paintball, and it was empty, but it could have been mistaken for a real gun, Flint said.
During the lockdown, students remained in their classrooms, school officials said. Officers cleared the scene about 10:15 a.m.
"Police believe they discovered who brought the paintball gun to school," Flint said on Tuesday afternoon. "They spoke to the students involved and are collecting the details."
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469 or at Twitter.com/nataliealund.