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Armed youth enters Calif. elementary school

A masked youth with a semiautomatic gun entered an elementary school's office in Van Nuys, Calif., on Wednesday morning but fled when staff called police, officials said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A masked youth with a semiautomatic gun entered the office of a an elementary school Wednesday morning, waved his arms at administrators and fled the building, officials said.

Officers spent several hours searching with police dogs before dismantling a two-block perimeter around Van Nuys Elementary School in the San Fernando Valley and scaling down the effort, Officer April Harding said.

A school lockdown — where doors are locked and movement restricted into and out of the building — was called off in the afternoon, although students were still kept indoors, said Monica Carazo, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

A school district police officer will be stationed at the school for the rest of the week, Carazo said. School staff who reported the intrusion described the person's age as between 12 and 14, she said.

A witness reported seeing the person enter the nearby Community Bible Church of Van Nuys after leaving the elementary school, Officer Ana Aguire said.

Church office manager Helen Frank said she did not believe anyone was in the church building at the time.

There were no reports of shots fired, police said.