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Active Shooter Situation On Elementary School Campus Puts 450 Summer Students On Lockdown

joseph gomez elementary

  Joseph Gomez Elementary School

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas elementary school holding summer programs was put on lockdown and in “active shooter” status when gunmen exchanged gunfire on the campus Tuesday afternoon.

Police said the shooting incident occurred on the Joseph A. Gomez Elementary School campus about 12:26 p.m. when the two suspects crossed paths.

Some 450 students were on campus at the time of the shooting attending summer programs run by VIPD, STEM, and the Department of Education, according to the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD).

There were no injuries reported and all students are accounted for and are safe as the school immediately placed them on active shooter lock down during the incident.

After officers conducted routine investigation of the premises and felt the campus was safe, the students were then given permission to return to their respective classrooms at roughly 2:30 p.m.

Parents were immediately notified and given the option to retrieve their children due to the nature of the incident.

Camp will resume as scheduled today July 27, 2016.

The case is currently under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact the Investigation Bureau at (340) 774-2211 ext. 5579 and 5557. You can also contact 911, Crime Stoppers VI, the Chief’s office at (340) 715-5548 or the Commissioner’s office at (340) 715-5506.

“The lives of innocent children and members of our community are continuously placed in great danger, VIPD spokeswoman Sakeeda Freeman said. “Gun violence is never the answer and together we must work together to hold these individuals accountable for their actions.”


“Bodyguard blankets” to protect students during a school shooting situation.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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