On Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at about 1:45 PM what should have been harmless fun turned into a shocking attack in anger. It was lunch time and some students from Coalinga High School were at Keck Park engaged in a water balloon fight. The water balloon fight got more involved, and balloons were being lobbed with more power as it progressed.
As the frolic took on more steam, one of the balloons hit a vehicle and the owner of that vehicle was upset about their vehicle being hit. As an argument grew more heated, the owner of the vehicle got a BB gun from inside the vehicle and fired several BBs at the victim, striking both the victim and another vehicle. The victim sustained an injury to their arm, (three wounds), but denied needing medical attention when asked by the officers who arrived at the scene shortly after the incident was reported.
The suspect was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.
Coalinga Huron Unified School District Superintendent Lori Villanueva said in a message sent to parents, “Given the recent incident in Texas, this (shooting at lunch) is extremely concerning. First, that a student had a loaded weapon in the car. Second, that a water balloon fight would lead to taking it out, and third, pointing it at someone, and firing it multiple times. The student will be suspended pending expulsion. The victim is okay.”
“The District has a zero tolerance policy for the possession of or use of weapons” Villanueva continued. “Please, ensure that your child does not bring play guns, BB guns, airsoft guns, hand guns, fake, realistic looking guns, or any guns of any kind to school. The same stands for any kind of knife or objects considered to be dangerous and of no reasonable use to students at school.”
Editorial Note: It has been a difficult week at Coalinga High School. Monday and Tuesday morning brought the unpleasant discovery of “pranks” at the CHS Campus which were costly, (to repair and clean up), crude, and a poor reflection of the character and pride Coalinga has come to expect of its students there.
It would be sad to end the school year on a sour note. It is hoped that the majority of the students who have worked diligently and their teachers can complete the year with pride and confidence that they have done their best.