After school fist fight turns into gun scare at Cleveland High

Although school was out for the day, learn why police “locked-down” Cleveland High School to look for a gun‚

After being locked in Cleveland High for an hour, social sciences teacher Terry Johnson says this incident is unusual in this typically peaceful school.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The final bell of the day at Cleveland High School had sounded, and most of the students had left the building on May 18.

Outside the school, on the northeast perimeter of Cleveland’s grounds, witnesses said two young men got in a fight. The brawler, bloodied from being on the losing end of the altercation, reportedly pulled out a gun. He brandished it without firing, and then ran back into the school.

Building goes into “lock-down”
Terry Johnson, a Cleveland High social sciences teacher exited the building about 4:00 p.m. and told us, “There was a report of somebody in the building, possibly with a gun. They told us to lock our [classroom] doors.”

But, with few students in the building, Johnson said he wasn’t worried. “If there were kids in the school, I would have been more concerned.”

SERT members, with the aid of a K-9 officer, make an article search of the school, looking for the gun‚ but no weapons were found.

After an hour, everything was quiet, Johnson said. “I saw police all around the building. It seemed safe for me to leave.”

Not taking any chances, the Portland Police Bureau SERT officers suited up, and entered the school. They conducted a room-by-room search, aided by a K-9 officer and dog.

Watching the police activity, Johnson said after speaking with us, “Cleveland High is a pretty peaceful place. We have great students here. It’s the first time in 26 years we’ve had anything like this.”

Officers from Portland Police Bureau’s Southeast Precinct stand guard as Cleveland High is searched.

“Nothing was found after a comprehensive search of the building; the suspect wasn’t in the building,” said police spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz. “The suspect in this incident, turned himself in. He has been identified as 17-year-old Joel Trejo-DeLeon, and has been charged with one count of Disorderly Conduct.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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