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Sep 1, 2008

Midday jacking at St. John’s Anglican School

Story PictureChildren at Saint John’s Anglican Primary on Amara Avenue in Belize City returned to school today after a long summer break, but the first day of classes was frightening when a lone gunman attacked the school principal while administrators conducted late registrations. School counselor, Caroline Westby, was in the Resource Centre next door and heard the commotion outside just as classes recessed for the lunch break.

Carolyn Westby, School Counselor, Queen Square Anglican Primary
“I was in here all morning because I was helping out with registration. And the principal and another teacher, Mr. Murillo, they were in her office. Myself and the vice principal, we were in here and we heard noises and my first instinct was that maybe a parent wanted to beat the principal or a teacher, I don’t know. I heard somebody cursing and then like a little bit of rumbling and that’s when I opened that black door there. When I opened the door, the gunman had the gun in my face. The first thing I did was to just pull back the door but when I pulled the door, he pulled it also and then I slammed the green door from inside and bolted. Myself and the vice principal, we hid in the bathroom and that’s when I called for the police.”

Marion Ali
“Did he get anything and did he act alone?”

Carolyn Westby
“the only thing they got away with was the principal’s purse because she refused to get up when they came in the office and after refusing to hand over anything, they threw the desk that she was around, they threw that over and when that fell down that’s when they saw her bag and they rumbled through her bag and they took her purse. I think that’s the noise I heard that alerted me to go and check and see what was happening. He didn’t wear a mask, I cannot recognize or identify the person. I know he had on a short black pants, a white T-shirt and he had something wrapped around his head; either a black cloth or a black hat, I cannot—but he didn’t wear no mask. But just seeing the gun there, I just hurriedly pulled back the door. This is not registration day. Registration is usually held I think the last day of school and sometimes during the summer vacation there’s a date set aside. But of course, there are parents who do come on the first day of school who, for whatever reason, didn’t come when they were supposed to. So today we had a lot of parents coming in. like I said, I was doing some registration along with the vice principal and the principal along with another teacher in her office. It must be somebody who is very familiar with the school.”

Despite his calculated effort, the thief could only get away with a purse containing fifty dollars which belonged to the school’s Principal, Patricia Johnson. Up to news time, cops were still investigating and had no suspects.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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