Red Cross Evacuation Center for Mad River/Ruth at: Van Duzen Community Center, Van Duzen Road, Mad River:
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Eureka High School students shot by pellet gun, officers search for suspect
EUREKA- The Eureka Police Department said four students from Eureka High School were shot at by a pellet gun during lunch time Thursday and two of them were hit. School officials said it happened off campus and that it appears to be a random act.
Lieutenant Tony Zanotti from the Eureka Police Department said, "It was either a pellet or a BB. It appears that it was a pellet."
One student was hit in the chest and one was hit in the back according to officers. Zanotti said,
“It was powerful enough to penetrate their clothing and then penetrate the skin." One of the student's family members tells News Channel 3 that he required surgery early Friday morning because the pellet was lodged in his chest.
Eureka’s High School Principal Rick Jordan said it was a frightening experience for everyone involved,
"It really was a traumatic event for those kids, and their families and their close friends, and then for the rest of the kids it is a very scary thing."
The students said they were shot at in a greenbelt area on L Street, across the street from campus,
"The area was immediately checked. Suspect was not located, a suspect was not seen firing the weapon at the students," said Zanotti.
Police said there is no apparent motive currently but that it could range from an accidental shooting to an intentional shooting.
Jordan said a school alert was sent out to parents Thursday explaining what had happened, and he also said the school is ramping up extra patrol around the perimeters of the campus.
School officials said the school was not placed on lock down because police had deemed the area to be safe after their search. A family member of one of the students shot said that he is recovering in the hospital and as for police they said that the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4060.