Police Investigating Knife Brandishing Incident at Burbank High School

Burbank High School (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank police were called to Burbank High School just before 9 am after receiving a call that a student had been the victim of a knife brandishing in one of the school’s restrooms.

Upon arrival, they asked for additional units to come assist. They reported that a student observed someone dressed in a long black sleeve shirt brandishing a pocket knife, which was reported immediately. It is not known if there was any kind of confrontation before the incident at this time.

The school was put on lockdown as a precaution as police searched for the suspect, who was reported to be possibly a male Hispanic, about 5′ 4″.

Burbank High School immediately issued a release to parents that said, “Administration received a report of an incident on campus at Burbank High School this morning at 8:50 am. All students are safe, however Burbank Police Department is on campus supporting administration in our investigation.

Out of an abundance of caution and to assist our ability to complete the investigation, we are initiating a shelter in place on campus. We regret that this will require us to cancel today’s scheduled pep rally.

After the incident, school officials thought it best to send students home for the day, initiating an early dismissal that started at 11:30 am, with the last of the students being released at 11:50 am. Burbank High School Principal Narineh Barzegar sent an email to parents at 12:39 pm to notify parents of the early dismissal.

Sgt. Stephen Turner of the Burbank Police Department said that no injuries occurred and that “there is no evidence currently to suggest that anyone other than current BHS students were involved in the incident.” He also made it clear that there is no known ongoing threat at Burbank High School or any other schools in the District.

Burbank Unified School District said the following in a release issued Friday afternoon, “This morning, at approximately 8:40 am, a Burbank High School student reported to staff that a confrontation occurred between a student and another individual in a restroom. Burbank Police Department was immediately notified and quickly came to campus to support administration and conduct an investigation.

To help facilitate the investigation, conduct a full sweep of the campus, and ensure the safety of all students and staff, administration implemented a shelter-in-place and cancelled a scheduled pep rally for later in the morning. At 11:30 a.m. administration initiated an early student dismissal with a staggered release to allow students to reunite with their parents and allow the police investigation to continue.”

They also said in the release, “Student and staff safety remain our top priority. We know it is a sacred trust parents and guardians place each day in our school personnel when they drop off their children at school. We apologize for the angst and uncertainty our enhanced safety measures have caused many within our community. Burbank High School and the entire Burbank Unified School District will always err on the side of caution to protect the well-being of our people and to uphold that trust placed in us.

We know the presence of police officers on campus and today’s early student dismissal will impact students and staff in different ways in the coming days. We will have additional counseling and student supports available on campus on Monday, April 22.”

No arrests have been made in connection with the alleged confrontation at this time, and the police investigation remains ongoing.