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Update: Firecracker Mistaken For Gunfire At Sonora High

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Update at 6:15 p.m.: Clarke Broadcasting received this update from Sonora Union High School District Superintendent Ed Pelfrey that was also emailed to staff, students and parents:

Post-Lockdown Update for Sonora High School Community

November 9, 2023

Dear Sonora Union High High School District Community,

Today at approximately 2:37 PM Sonora High School administration was contacted by the Sonora Police Department and notified that there had been a report of a single gunshot near campus.

The administration immediately placed the school on lockdown, while law enforcement responded to the campus.  Parents were contacted via the Parentsquare notification system that Sonora High School was in a lockdown.

Law enforcement quickly identified that a firework had been set off and that there were no other threats present.  The lockdown was lifted at approximately 2:50.

The rapid and effective actions of students, staff and law enforcement are to be commended.

We understand that events such as today’s can be unsettling for students, staff and the larger school community.   As we move forward, we know that individuals will process what occurred differently.  This is a resource that may be useful to you in speaking with your children.

The safety of our students and staff continues to be our top priority.


Ed PelfreySuperintendentSonora Union High School District

Update at 3:20 p.m.: The lockdown that began shortly after 2:30 p.m. at Sonora High School following a report of gunfire on the campus has been lifted. What the caller reported as a single gunshot has now been confirmed by officers on the scene to be a firecracker.

Original post at 2:57 p.m.: Sonora, CA — Sonora Union High School is currently on lockdown after a 911 call reported gunfire.

Sonora Union High School District Superintendent Ed Pelfrey confirmed to Clarke Broadcasting that the campus was on lockdown. Pelfrey emailed this message to staff, students and parents:

“[SUHSD] The Sonora PD has ordered a lockdown of the Sonora High School Campus. The campus is currently locked down. We will provide more information as we receive it. Students and staff who are off campus should stay off campus until further notice.”

On the scene in minutes, Sonora Police officers began searching the campus. The police quickly learned that it was actually a firecracker set off in the student parking lot. Officers found remnants of the firework under a vehicle. Police remain at the school, checking the buildings and questioning witnesses as they investigate the incident. There are no reports of injuries at the school. It is unclear when the lockdown will be lifted.