A drug investigation on the Hollister High School campus led to the discovery of a student in possession of a loaded firearm on Sept. 14, according to authorities.
The school was placed on lockdown while law enforcement officials searched the campus. Shortly following the search, police determined there was no longer a threat to the students or staff at the school, and school was let out early for the day.
Around 10:30am, a Hollister High School staff member was investigating a disturbance in the area of the school known as the “the 200’s.” During that investigation, the staff member witnessed what they believed to be a hand-to-hand drug transaction, and detained two students, police said.
Hollister Police School Resource Officer Rene Rayas was on campus and was called in to assist. Rayas reportedly discovered one of the students was armed with a loaded gun, and requested the assistance of additional officers. Both students were immediately detained.
Authorities later reported that one student had been arrested, and two others had been detained.
About 21 officers converged on the school, including all on-duty Hollister Police units, administrative staff, investigative staff, three units from the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office and seven from the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office. Police said there was concern that additional undetected firearms were still on campus.
Using surveillance systems in place at the school, investigators identified additional persons of interest and their whereabouts at the school. After following up on that information, police coordinated with school staff to lift the lockdown at about 12:15pm.
“We would like to thank the Sheriff’s Office and SBC DA’s office for their assistance, along with the staff at Hollister High School for their work today,” police stated in a press release. “The children of this community are our most important asset and we will always respond in force to ensure their safety.”
Hollister High officials said after the incident that counseling assistance is available for students and staff who have been affected by the crime scene and lockdown. Students can contact their counselor or student services staff.
The following phone and online resources are also available to anyone in crisis, Hollister High School staff noted in a press release:
• CALL: Youth Crisis Line (24/7): 1.800.843.5200
• CALL: Crisis Support Services (24/7): 1.800.309.2131
• CALL: Parental Stress (24/7): 510.893.5444
• CALL: California HOPE Support with Coping skills: 833.317 HOPE (4673)
• TEXT: “HOME” to 741741 (to text with crisis counselor)
• TEXT: “Start” to 678678 (to LGBTQ Crisis Support)
• CALL: Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
“The San Benito High School District and Hollister High School administration is very appreciative of the support received and provided by all of our law enforcement partners and campus security staff,” District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum said in a Sept. 14 Hollister High School newsletter. “Thank you to Hollister High School’s faculty, staff and students for their immediate action and our parents and community members for their understanding.”
Anyone with information about the Sept. 14 on-campus incident can call the Hollister Police Department at 831.636.4331. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at 800.78.CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.