Suspect search prompts lockdowns at 4 Mission Viejo schools

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) -- Four Mission Viejo schools were temporarily placed on lockdown on Wednesday due to a suspect search in the area, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said.

The schools on lockdown were: La Paz Intermediate School, Linda Vista Elementary School, Mission Viejo High School and Esperanza Special Education School, according to a tweet from the OCSD.

Around 11:45 a.m., the lockdowns were lifted at Mission Viejo High School and Linda Vista Elementary School.

About an hour later, the situations at La Paz Intermediate School and Esperanza Special Education School were changed to soft lockdowns, which means classes were set to resume as normal, but students were not allowed to move about the campus, sheriff's officials said. The soft lockdowns were lifted at around 2:15 p.m.

The lockdowns were prompted by a suspect search at the request of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, and no direct threat was made to any school.

The sought suspect was identified as 32-year-old Lee Zechariah Austin, though officials did not immediately provide details regarding the reason behind the search.
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