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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Gun scare locks down Kennedy campus

By Shant Shahrigian and Sarina Trangle

School and police officials ordered a more than two-hour-long lockdown of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) campus after a student allegedly threatened to bring a gun to school on Oct. 17. The reported threat followed a fight on campus between two unidentified students.

The roughly 3,000 students attending the eight schools on the JFK campus stayed in locked classrooms while police officers secured the campus perimeter and searched for the suspect. The lockdown ended after police determined the suspect was not on campus.

No arrests had been made in connection with the case as of Tuesday morning.

Several students said the Oct. 17 fight took place at the Bronx School of Law and Finance.

After the fight, the suspect reportedly ran off the campus. The so-called soft lockdown — which refers to situations when the potential threat is outside of the school — subsequently went into effect.

Many students said after the lockdown was announced over the school’s public address system around 12:50 p.m., they initially thought it was a drill. But as the lockdown persisted through two periods, they realized the threat was real.

“At first I wasn’t scared because I thought it was a drill,” said Charlotte Hakikson, a junior at the Marble Hill High School for International Studies. “But after I found out somebody was threatening us, I got a bit scared because I didn’t really know how to react to that.”

Capt. Paul Rasa, commanding officer of the NYPD’s 50th Precinct, said officers have not confirmed the threat was made. 

Student accounts of the incident varied. Some said the suspect threatened the entire campus, while others said the threat only targeted the other student involved in the fight.

“Obviously the school is very safe,” Capt. Rasa said. “Unfortunately a verbal dispute can get a little physical. That’s probably what happened here. But there were no serious injuries, no weapons displayed and overall, the school is safe.”

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