Stray bullet misses student, grazes teacher

Gun­men climbed on­to rooftops of the Plan­nings at Up­per and Low­er Nel­son Street and fired off “warn­ing/mes­sage” gun­shots at each oth­er yes­ter­day morn­ing when five stray bul­lets end­ed up pen­e­trat­ing a class­room at the South East Port-of-Spain Sec­ondary School.

One of the bul­lets ric­o­cheted and grazed a fe­male teacher on the hand, while an­oth­er bul­let went just over the head of a pupil while he was sit­ting his end of term ex­am­i­na­tion, miss­ing his head by mere cen­time­tres.

The teacher was in a class­room lo­cat­ed on the sec­ond floor su­per­vis­ing ex­am­i­na­tions at the time of the in­ci­dent which oc­curred dur­ing the sec­ond pe­ri­od of the day just be­fore 10 am.

Guardian Me­dia was told by po­lice sources that the bul­lets would have en­tered the school’s com­pound from the back of the school.

Speak­ing with Guardian Me­dia, un­der strict anonymi­ty, a teacher, who was there at the time of the in­ci­dent, said for cer­tain the pupil had a guardian an­gel over him. “He was sit­ting for­ward in his chair writ­ing his test, if he was on­ly sit­ting up he would have been shot in the head. There were ac­tu­al­ly bul­let holes in the wall to the back of the class­room and one of the bul­lets ric­o­cheted and struck the teacher in her hand.”

The teacher de­scribed the “warn­ing/mes­sages” shots as “nor­mal” and added that it oc­curs on a dai­ly ba­sis, “We have be­come so ac­cus­tomed hear­ing gun­shots all around us but now that this in­ci­dent has hap­pened and one of us in­jured and a child was so close to be­ing ei­ther se­ri­ous­ly wound­ed or dead it has be­come very trau­mat­ic that some of us are fright­ened to re­turn to school.”

TT Uni­fied Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (TTUTA) pres­i­dent An­to­nia De­Fre­itas, in an im­me­di­ate re­sponse to the in­ci­dent, con­firmed the in­ci­dent and added that there stands now “se­ri­ous con­cerns for the lives of the teach­ers.”

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