Staff, parents and children of Oak View Preschool in Huntington Beach were holding a drive-thru parade in the neighborhood to hold a summer send-off for the students. Some teachers were wearing costumes and parents were honking horns as they drove by celebrating after such an unusual and challenging school year.
Around 11:30 a.m., someone drove by the school, was heard yelling "shut up" and then apparently fired several pellets toward the campus. Staff members recalled hearing metal pinging sounds as the pellets hit metal railings.
Then a pellet struck a teacher in the upper leg, causing a wound that bled.
"The other teacher came over to me and said, 'I think I've been shot!'" recalled teacher Kathy Blythe. "I said 'What? She goes 'I think I've been shot!' She had blood all around here and a little hole (in her thigh)."
Staff members went into lockdown mode, calling 911 and shutting the gates of the school, she said.
"We had no idea where it came from," Blythe said. "We had no idea if it was going to continue."
The teacher who was struck was brought to a local hospital.
The person who fired the pellet has not been located, but Huntington Beach police confirm they are investigating the incident.
The president of the school board asked members of the public to send in any video they may have taken during the parade at the time of the shooting.
Video and other information can be emailed to the district office at firstname.lastname@example.org
"It was a really nice event that unfortunately turned really dark," said Gina Clayton-Tarvin, board president of Ocean View School District. "It's really sad for us. It's sad for the community here in Huntington Beach to have something like this here go on."
"As the president of the school district, as a parent in this school district, as a human being, it's disturbing to me," she added. "We have people coming together in celebration for the end of the year. It's been a really hard year because of the pandemic and the kids not being in school with us and all of that trauma for the children. And this on top of it? I mean, why? This is disturbing. It's completely disturbing."