CORONA - Centennial High School students C. Stewart and J. Stewart stayed home from classes on Thursday following the warnings police and school officials provided after the early morning on attack on police officers authorities believe was committed by Christopher Jordan Dorner, a former police officer suspected of multiple killings.
"I was surprised. I got texts from the Corona Police Department and calls from the school," J. Stewart, 15, said.
Centennial High School is a short distance away from the Magnolia Avenue bridge over the 15 Freeway, which as of mid-Thursday, was still blocked off by Los Angeles and Corona police officers after the shooting that took place there shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday.
Authorities say Dorner, a Navy veteran and fired Los Angeles Police Department officer, is the suspect in a string of killings that began on Sunday in Irvine and are motivated by his desire for revenge after his dismissal from the police force. Dorner is also wanted on suspicion of killing a Riverside police officer early Thursday morning.
In Corona, Dorner is suspected of firing upon police who were assigned to protect one of the target's listed on his hit list. One officer was wounded in that incident.
The Stewarts, brother and sister, declined to provide their first names. C. Stewart is J. Stewart's elder brother and said he received word from his friends who did attend school that many other Centennial students decided to stay home.
"Everyone at school in the first period said the school was empty. No one's here," he said.
C. Stewart, 17, said there was a heavy police presence around Centennial High School on Thursday morning, which made him worry the shooter would return to attack officers protecting the school.
Stallings Elementary School is also near the Magnolia Avenue shooting site. A parent who declined to give her name said she thought twice about allowing her young son to attend classes, but ultimately decided her child would be safe.
The Los Angeles News Group contributed to this report.