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Three children hospitalized after man armed with knife, incendiary devices runs them over on way to school in Santa Ana

Santa Ana school, neighborhood evacuated after man armed with incendiary devices strikes three stude
Santa Ana school, neighborhood evacuated after man armed with incendiary devices strikes three stude 03:15

Three children were injured as they walked to school in Santa Ana Monday morning, when a man drove onto the sidewalk and struck them. 

The scene unfolded just prior to 8:30 a.m. on Keller Avenue neat Taft Elementary School, where moments earlier a man had been asked to leave the school's campus as he was trespassing. He was escorted by authorities before getting back into his vehicle. 

It was then that he drove onto the sidewalk, striking the three children. All of the victims were taken to a hospital for treatment, though they are all said to be in stable condition. 

Two of the children were students of Taft Elementary, while the third, a cousin of one of the students was walking them to school. 

Jarring surveillance footage shows the vehicle come to a quick stop, with tires screeching, before it veers onto the sidewalk and hits the children -- just out of view of the camera's shot. Screams can be heard just seconds later. 

A witness at the scene detailed the moments after the man ran over the children, noting how when he approached them to help, he saw "the individual with a knife in his hand walking towards the bodies on the ground" before he turned around and returned to his vehicle. 

Upon their arrival, authorities found the man inside of his vehicle suffering from a stab wound. They also found four incendiary devices, which are believed to be similar to molotov cocktails in his vehicle, a source revealed to CBS reporter Michele Gile. 

"The stab wound appeared to be, at least for now, self-inflicted," said a Santa Ana police officer. 

They immediately evacuated both the surrounding neighborhood and Taft Elementary, where they conducted a full sweep of the premises to ensure that no further devices were planted. 

After officers found one incendiary device, Orange County Bomb Squad agents were called to the scene, where they found three additional devices.

The suspect, now identified as 26-year-old Valencia resident Jason Guzman, was arrested. 

Authorities were unsure whether Guzman had any relation to staff or students at the school. 

As a result of the wild series of events, the school was on mandatory lockdown from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. as law enforcement continued to survey the area. 

Santa Ana Unified School District issued a statement in the hours following the incident, which read:

Dear Taft Elementary Families,

We wanted to inform you that the lockout of our school was lifted earlier this morning and all school activities have returned to normal. School dismissal will also take place at the normal times.

This lockout took place just after 8 a.m. and ended just before 11 a.m. It was conducted out of an abundance of caution after a trespasser entered the school without permission and was soon removed by school staff. The trespasser eventually drove off in his vehicle where he was involved in a traffic collision a few blocks from the campus that resulted in injuries to at least three individuals, including at least two students from Taft, who were taken to a hospital for further evaluation. The trespasser was arrested and taken into custody.

Police conducted a sweep of all the school buildings to ensure the trespasser did not leave anything behind. After a thorough search, police concluded the trespasser did not leave anything at the school.  Thank you for your cooperation.

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