Hoaxes force lock down at Livingston schools

Authorities said two schools were locked down briefly Thursday after separate reports of armed men on campuses that were apparently hoaxes.

Officers responded at 8:25 a.m. to Livingston High School on Main Street after receiving a report of man with a firearm near a market at Main Street and Peach Avenue, Livingston Police Lt. Chris Soria said.

Police said the high school was locked down as a security precaution. Police searched the area for nearly 30 minutes. “We checked area and found nothing,” Soria said.

About 15 minutes after police cleared that investigation, officers received a second report at 9:16 a.m. involving Livingston Middle School. The Merced County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the area check, police said.

“The call indicated there were three men with firearms on school grounds,” Soria said, “but that also turned out to be nothing.”

Both schools were locked down for about 30 minutes and parents will be notified of the lockdown by school administrators, said Andres Zamora, superintendent of Livingston Union School District.

Police believe the calls may have been pranks.

“We’re looking at possible misdemeanor charges if we identify those responsible,” Soria said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Livingston Police Department at (209) 394-7916. Tips are kept confidential and callers can remain anonymous.