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Tustin schools locked down as police search for gunman

Seven schools were placed on lockdown in Tustin on Thursday as police scoured the area for a gunman.

Residents were warned to stay inside as police from Tustin and Irvine deployed a massive manhunt after an initial confrontation with the gunman in which police officers opened fire on the suspect near Red Hill Avenue and Nisson Road.

"Our biggest concern is there are a lot of people living around here. We want everyone who is living here to stay in homes," Tustin Police Chief Charles Celano said.

The gunman is described as carrying a shotgun or rifle. Heavily armed SWAT officers with assault weapons were checking areas near Nisson Road.

The chief could not say how many shots were fired during the initial confrontation.

The suspect is described as Latino, about 5 feet 9 and clean-shaven. He was last seen wearing a baseball hat, royal blue shirt and blue-green plaid shorts.

The schools on lockdown include Tustin High School. Celano said classes are continuing on the campuses inside the buildings.

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richard.winton@latimes.com

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