Armijo Students Return to Class after Near-Campus Shooting

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FAIRFIELD -- Students at Armijo High School in Fairfield returned to class Monday morning, days after shots rang out just a block away from a Friday night football game.

"Like minutes into the game, we heard 'pop pop' and that's when everyone started evacuating the field," Armijo senior Victor Barajas said.

Fairfield police on Friday funneled the crowd into the gym and put them on lockdown. What made the situation tenser was when students realized one of the suspects in the shooting had slipped into the gym to hide among them.

"It didn't actually happen on campus-- the shooting-- but it was a block away and when they see that, it does cause a lot of nervousness and a lot of fear," Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District spokesman Tim Goree said.

Many students had safety on their minds as they stepped back onto campus Monday morning.

"We come to school thinking we're safe and then for this to happen, this may fear some people and their parents," junior Sariah Hughes said.

Students saw an increased presence of Fairfield police officers around the campus. Several told FOX40 that added presence helps.

"I feel safe because I see all the police cars surrounding the building. I feel safe," junior Jayden Thompson said.

The district also brought in six counselors to provide support for the students and staff.

"We're a community and we're here for them and we want to make sure that any fears that they have or concerns that they have are addressed," Goree said.

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Armijo Football Team Set for a Rematch

There won't be any metal detector wands or bag checks at Tuesday night's make-up football game at Armijo High School.

When Vallejo's Bethel Jaguars last pulled away from the campus they were leaving it in chaos.

"It was very scary. We actually ... I had picked her up and we just drove around the corner and at that moment is when we heard all the police coming," said parent Joleen Amey.

Three days later, the football field sits empty on the eve of the rematch of a game canceled by calamity.

Student Jeneva Amey was not concerned that the game has been rescheduled so soon.

"It wasn't the intended target, so I don't think it would be a problem," she said. "That's pretty crazy but I have confidence in my school."

That's just what administrators of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District want to hear and the feeling they hope spreads.

To that end, Armijo will be using the same staffing levels it does when playing a big sports rival like Fairfield High School and include four city officers working the game instead of the standard two.

"There's always staff that are there," said the Executive Director of Community Engagement for FSUSD Tim Goree. "I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 or 20 would be typical. This time we'll have at least 10 administrators from the district office helping out with the game as well."

While there may not be a massive security presence that looks different to game-goers, district leaders feel students have armed themselves internally for any situation.

Goree says they've heard kids are taking campus "run, hide, fight" safety drills to heart and students scanned the area for "what was most appropriate in that particular situation."

"Started looking for where the exits were, who were the people that I should be listening to, where are the police, where are our administrators," Goree recounted.

The "run, hide, fight" training is a thinking protocol designed to help students evaluate a threatening situation and look for options beyond hiding under a desk or staying trapped in a classroom.

Tickets to Tuesday's re-match games are free for junior varsity, which starts at 5:15 p.m. and varsity, which is slated for 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted and then split between the Armijo Athletics department and Fairfield's Police Activities League.

Game night will also feature a special presentation from the director of the Matt Garcia Foundation, an anti-violence organization founded in honor of a young Fairfield city councilman shot to death when he was mistakenly targeted by a drug dealer.


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