C.H. Reeves Junior High School and R.M. Bailey Senior High School were put on lockdown yesterday following a shoot-out between police and suspects on the grounds of the C.H. Reeves campus off Robinson Road.
The Ministry of Education said yesterday that all students and staff at the schools were safe.
“In the wake of growing fears and concerns, the Ministry of Education wishes to assure the public that the staff, students and visitors of C.H. Reeves Junior High School are safe and unharmed,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The ministry was advised that some time after 11 a.m. this morning, suspects attempting to evade the police drove onto the campus of C.H. Reeves Junior High School.
“Subsequently, the suspects were cornered by the police, which resulted in an exchange of gunfire between the police and the assailants. A short time later, the suspects were apprehended by the police and taken into custody.”
Shootings involving police officers have been a focus of attention recently, with police shooting four men within the last month.
Three of those shootings were fatal, with two taking place within the span of a week.
However, police told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that while there was an exchange of gunfire in this latest incident, neither the suspects nor the officers were injured.
In their evening report, police said officers were responding to a tip-off about shots being fired in the area of Palm Beach Street off Robinson Road, when they were led on a chase by two men driving a white Toyota.
They said the men eventually crashed into a police car near C.H. Reeves, then fled onto the school grounds where the shootout happened.
The Ministry of Education stressed that the schools were placed on lockdown merely “as a precautionary measure…to ensure the safety and well-being of those on campus”.
Although the incident did not take place at R.M. Bailey, that school was locked down due to its proximity to the incident, the ministry noted.
“Additionally, the Department of Education mobilized its counseling services for both staff and students to make them aware of the situation, and to avoid any adverse effects of trauma,” its press release stated.
“The ministry reiterates the fact that the disheartening events were not school-related, and wishes to assure the public that it is doing all in its power to ensure the safety and well-being of its staff and students.”