ANTIOCH -- A 16-year-old student is expected to survive after being shot in a drive-by shooting Wednesday morning on a sidewalk outside the Deer Valley High School campus, authorities said.
The attack sent the school community into a frenzy. Deer Valley and all other Antioch district schools were locked down as a precaution and parents clamored for information and to take home their children. School officials worked to restore order to the sprawling campus of 2,868 students after the firetrucks, police cars and medical helicopter had left.
The shooting was reported about 8:30 a.m. on a sidewalk at the eastern entrance of the campus, on Sagebrush Drive near Lone Tree Way. Officers arrived to find a teenage boy shot once through the arm and torso. He was taken by helicopter to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.
Antioch police Lt. Leonard Orman said the boy was conscious and responsive when police arrived. He underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon.
Don Gill, interim superintendent of the Antioch Unified School District, said the attacker was not a student at the school.
The shooting occurred when the boy and two other teenagers walking near the school began arguing with two men in a tan or brown compact sedan with tinted windows, oversize rims and tires, a sunroof and loud music playing, Orman said.
The car was captured on a school security camera a short time before the shooting, Orman said. It is an early 2000 model gold or tan Lexus, Saturn or Chevrolet Impala.The passenger of the car fired three to five shots. Shots were fired at one of the other boys, but he was not hit. The driver then sped away. Orman said one witness reported seeing the car heading eastbound on Indian Hill Road. Orman said it was unclear whether the victim knew the suspects.
The driver of the car was described as between 18 and 20 years old. Orman said the shooter was about the same age, with an olive complexion and dark wavy hair combed back.
One student reported hearing three to four shots. Another, Christian Miller, 15, said she also heard gunfire.
"I used to live in Oakland, so I know what it sounded like," Miller said.
Within a half-hour, dozens of concerned parents began streaming onto the campus.
"My heart dropped," said Bridgette Collins, whose children are in 11th and 12th grades. "Something like this was the farthest thing from my mind."
During the lockdown, Deer Valley Principals Clarence Isadore and Scott Bergerhouse gathered arriving parents in the school's west cafeteria, trying to reassure them their children were safe. Many parents were upset by the lockdown and not convinced of their kids' safety on campus.
"If (the shooter's) still at large what's to stop him from coming back?" said parent Kevin Stallard.
Students were allowed to call their parents to pick them up beginning at 10:40 a.m., and they were given the option of leaving or continuing the school day, Bergerhouse said.
Sports practices were expected to be held after school as usual. A Senior Day trip to Waterworld USA in Concord went on as planned for students who still wanted to go.
"We'll have a regular day here at Deer Valley High School as best we can," Bergerhouse said.
That didn't seem likely as students milled around the school's courtyard, with dozens of others streaming off campus.
Staff writer Paul Burgarino contributed to this story. Reach Hilary Costa at 925-779-7166. Reach Robert Salonga at 925-943-8013. Follow him on Twitter: @robertsalonga.