Police arrested six Righetti High School students Wednesday afternoon after a two fights on campus led to a school lockdown, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Department.
At approximately 12:30 p.m. a fight broke out between two female students in the quad area where about a thousand students were located for lunch, said Kelly Hoover, Public Information Officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies arrived at the school shortly after 12:30 p.m. after the fights incited raucous crowds, said Kenny Klein, Public Information Officer for Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.
Klein said in a press release sent to the media, that a fight between two female students sparked the brawl, and a second fight between two male students then began.
The high school went on lockdown at 12:45 p.m. Saint Joseph High School, on the 4100 block of South Bradley Road. was also placed on lockdown.
Neighboring schools, Alice Shaw School and Lakeview Junior High School, were not on lockdown.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer, Kelly Hoover, said six Righetti High School students were arrested and booked at the Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall.
“This is the beginning of the investigation and we will look at who else was involved,” said Hoover. “There may be more arrests to follow.”
Hoover confirmed there was one student with a knife but that knife was never used in the fight.
Hoover also said that while a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputy was trying to stop a fight, that deputy was attacked and backup had to be called. That’s when Santa Maria Police, California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Fire, and other Sheriff deputies were called to the scene.
Authorities launched a helicopter to assist with the search for suspects.
Sheriff’s deputies assisted Righetti school officials in escorting students out.
Parents picked the students up at the Your Orcutt Youth Organization (Y.O.Y.O.) Center on 725 E Foster Road.
Classes at Righetti High School have been cancelled for the rest of the day. School will be in regular session on Thursday but with increased security.Slideshow: Major Disturbance at Righetti High School