A bus carrying the visiting Ceres High School sophomore football team was shot at as it drove away from Weston Ranch High School on Aug. 25. Investigators are trying to determine who may have targeted the bus and what they used to do it with.
According to reports widely circulating online, despite the fact that there were no incidents reported stemming from the two football games at Weston Ranch High, the Ceres Unified School District bus that was headed back to Stanislaus County was hit by what was believed to be gunfire that broke six windows.
Nobody was injured in the incident, and to date no suspects have been named or identified.
"We think that it may have been a pellet gun that did the damage but we're looking into that right now," said Ceres Unified Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services Jay Simmonds. "Fortunately, the windows stopped the penetration of the projectile and there was no damage to the inside of the bus so we're thinking that it was either a pellet gun or a small-caliber handgun that may have been used.
"There was nothing that indicated that anything like this was going to take place, and that's why it caught everybody completely off guard. It wasn't a good thing, and we're very disappointed that it happened."
According to Simmonds, the bus driver left the scene immediately as they were unaware of what kind of a threat existed. When they found safety south of Stockton they pulled over and called the California Highway Patrol who responded and took a report.
The Tracy CHP office - the incident occurred within the jurisdiction of the Stockton office, but the bus drove into Tracy's coverage area - said that they're unable at this time to release any information from the report without permission from their legal department in Sacramento.
Some of the football players that were riding on the bus that was struck were taken home with the varsity players after the bus caught up with them. Another bus was called in from the district to pick up the remaining players that were stranded.
A statement from the Weston Ranch High School Administration was released on Aug. 31 through the Office of Manteca Unified Superintendent Jason Messer.
"Over the weekend, Ceres High School administrative staff notified Weston Ranch High School administration of an incident off site with the Ceres Unified District school bus upon exiting the Weston Ranch Community last Friday evening," the statement reads. "Ceres High School staff indicated there were no injuries reported. Weston Ranch High School Administration continues to work with Ceres High School Administration to provide support in every way possible.
"Weston Ranch High School's staff has an established safety plan to ensure a safe learning environment is maintained at all times on site."