Pellet gun sighting puts Etna High in lockdown mode

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Etna High School was placed on lockdown yesterday after a man and woman were spotted on school grounds in possession of a firearm that turned out to be a pellet gun.

Jefferson Courts, age 28 and Clarrisa Courts, age 30, both of Fort Jones, were arrested at approximately 4:15 p.m. without incident, said Allison Giannini, spokesperson for the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department.

They were both charged with possessing a weapon on school grounds and violation of probation, Giannini said. Mr. Courts is being held without bail and Mrs. Courts was released on her own recognizance this morning, May 24.

The incident began at approximately 2:30 p.m. on May 23 when the Etna Police Department, Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol responded to a report of a man and woman walking around the fence at Etna High with a gun, said Giannini. To ensure safety of students and staff, the school placed itself on lockdown.

Authorities conducted a thorough search of the school grounds and found the individuals had left the area, Giannini said. At approximately 3:15 p.m. they told the school it was safe to lift the lockdown and students and staff were released from the school.

Officers and deputies continued to search for the suspects and they found and arrested the suspects, identified as the Courts, at about 4:15 p.m., Giannini said.

Giannini said it is illegal to possess a firearm of any kind on school grounds.

"The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department would like to commend Etna High School for their quick reaction and diligence to school safety and security," Giannini said. "This was an excellent example of multiple agencies working together to keep our children safe. In light of recent national events school officials and law enforcement are at a heightened state of alert. We would like to remind citizens to be cognizant of carrying firearms or weapons of any type on or near school properties, as this is a crime."