Thursday, April 25, 2024

Gun violence reaches schools as police abort fatal shooting

A student armed with a gun opened fire on Monday at Matsheng Community Junior School in Sojwe Village in what police believe is a rare incident in the country.

Sources say the shooting unfolded on Thursday after a male suspect, aged between 18 and 20, allegedly misfired and was confronted by the police who persuaded him to put the gun down before he could execute his plans.

It is understood that the suspect arrived at the school campus on Monday from Molepolole and its environs armed with the gun allegedly to use on the school management staff.

The suspect allegedly had a disagreement with the school management after he was alleged to have been caught jumping the school fence. The school management suspended the student from school and instructed him to bring his parents along so that he could possibly face disciplinary action. It is understood that the male student took an exception to such an instruction and did not show up for the start of the following week until he showed up this week.  

Before he could execute his plans, authorities received a tip off from other students who had apparently seen him in possession of the gun. The school management acted swiftly and alerted the police. Sources also add that the student got wind of the impending arrest and he ran away before he could execute his plans.

“The suspected shooter had been suspended from school sometime this year after he had jumped the school fence. He was instructed to bring his parents along, and he did not. When he came with the gun on Monday, he had a paper that some students claimed had a hit list,” said one of the sources. Police would not confirm those reports.

Eye witnesses say it was drama on Monday as teachers and the students were left perplexed as they ran for cover wondering why they had just all been shot at.

“Though no one was wounded, the whole situation was horrible and traumatising; it was like watching a live movie as police descended on the school premises in large numbers a few seconds after we heard some shots,” said the source. Police called to the scene used a helicopter to search for the student whose identity was not immediately released.┬á The shooter was then taken into police custody.

Sojwe Police Station Commander, Jubert Kome, confirmed the incident, adding that no one was injured. He said they had to call for backup from Police in Gaborone who launched a manhunt using a helicopter. He confirmed reports that other students saw the gun and alerted the school authorities.

“What we have learnt is that the shooting happened while the suspect was on the run. We suspect that he must have accidentally mishandled the gun. It was a shotgun that he allegedly stole from some places around Molepolole,” said Kome. He also confirmed reports that the suspect had wanted to use the gun on some management staff of the school.

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