Students walking at Centennial Education Center in Santa Ana. / Oliver Rivero / el Don
Police locked down Centennial Education Center for about half an hour on Friday, when a non-student came onto campus and reported that he was being chased by another non-student with what appeared to be a knife.
Officials said they initiated the lockdown after an unidentified man came into the campus’ main office claiming that he was being chased around the park by another man with an object that he believed to be a knife.
Vice President of Continuing Education Jim Kennedy immediately made the decision to put the campus into lockdown and notify Santa Ana police. Once police arrived, the victim refused to cooperate with questioning and was later escorted off campus. Police declared no crime occurred.
Campus Safety and Security conducted a search on the campus and reviewed video footage in search of the alleged suspect who was said to have a knife. But the search was unsuccessful.
“[Our job was to] secure the campus as quickly as possible,” Kennedy said. “We didn’t know when the initial notice for lockdown was going to come [and when] we don’t have a lot of detail, our effort is to lock down the campus as quickly as we can.”
District Safety and Security issued a RAVE alert via email and text message at 10:39 a.m. stating that the campus was under lockdown and to shelter in place. An “all clear” message went out at 11:07 a.m.
Many students who were on campus throughout the incident said they were unaware of the lockdown. For those who were aware, however, campus operations appeared to continue as normal.
“The only thing the teacher did was lock the door and continued class,” a CEC student witness said.
Additional reporting by Nikki Nelsen.