A gun-related incident at Gittens Road, Government Hill, St Michael, which resulted in Police discharging their firearms led to two men being detained and disruptions in the area.
The incident has also left several students of St Giles Nursery School shaken and parents visibly upset.
Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Inspector (ag) Rodney Inniss said around 10:30 a.m. personnel from the Major Crime, Suppressing Criminal Activity Threatening Society (SCATS), Canine, and Bridgetown Division conducted a search in the area of Turtons Gap, Gittens Road.
He said this resulted from an active investigation, which involved a suspect in police custody.
On arrival in the area, police met two men who both attempted to flee the scene, Inniss said.
He said one man had a gun in his hand and in his effort to evade one group of officers, he ran in the direction of another group of officers still with the weapon in his hand.
“He was instructed by police to drop the weapon but he did not comply. Police had reason to discharge their firearm; the man then threw the gun in the yard of a residence. That firearm and ammunition were retrieved by police and the suspect was taken into custody.
“The second man was running away but fell to the ground in his bid to escape. He was captured and when searched a loaded firearm was retrieved from his person. He too was taken into custody,” he said.
The PRO explained that as a result of the incident, which occurred next to the St Giles Primary School, the general area had to be cordoned for scene management, causing some disruption to regular traffic flow.
However, Inspector (ag) Inniss said parents and guardians were allowed to go to residents and to the school to facilitate their business.
No one was shot. The man who fell and sustained minor abrasions was taken for medical attention and was treated and discharged.
Meanwhile, though parents of the nursery school students indicated that they were happy no one at the school was injured as a result of the incident, they told members of the media they were outraged that it happened so close to the institution where children are supposed to feel safe.
Barbados TODAY understands that when the incident occurred, teachers and staff moved quickly to ensure that all the children were in the building, and closed all windows and doors, leaving the school in shutdown mode for a while.
A concerned Kamesha Hoyte lamented that receiving the call to collect her son from school early because guns were discharged in the area has left her feeling disturbed.
“You imagine you sending your kid to school and you getting a call that somebody shooting, or there was a shooting in the vicinity of the school? That is an awful feeling. And not only that, they are babies. Not that it is acceptable at whatever level, but it is babies. There are no safe spaces in Barbados anymore. What is a safe?,” Hoyte said.
Meanwhile, another parent who requested anonymity said he too was happy that the students were safe and commended the teachers for the role they played in calming their charges.
“All I hear is that there had a shooting and look how close that is to the school and it is a nursery school. When I went to the door to get my son I hear them saying that the children frightened to eat them lunch. The children don’t want to touch them lunch because them traumatized. These children ain’t no older than three, four years old, so they would be frightened, especially because they don’t really know what going on.
“My son had games today and I don’t know if he was outside when that happened. But this school is a good school and it got good teachers. And we have to consider that this could happen in any neighbourhood because this is a different time that we living in right now,” the parent said.
“This is madness. This is a nursery school. I can’t even imagine how these babies felt. We need to do something about all these guns in this place,” a parent said as she vented her frustration.
One resident, Stephanie Stuart said she believed it was time the community came together to try to help to “raise” the young ones and lead them on the right path.
Stuart, who declared she believed in peace and not war, said it was time the lawlessness-taking place in communities stopped.
“As a parent and a grandparent I don’t like it, but then again you can’t tell people what to do. Sometimes circumstances force some issues, sometimes it comes from the home because you ain’t come up with no proper guidance, and then sometimes you come up with the best guidance in the world,” Stuart said. [email protected]