A stray bullet from a shoot-out between rival gangs could
have claimed the life of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry
of Trade and Industry Edwina Leacockif she had been
sitting in her Riverside Plaza office yesterday morning.
The bullet smashed through Leacocks office window a
few feet above the ground directly behind her desk, a source
in the building confirmed.
According to the source, investigators confirmed that the
bullet pierced the thick glass at lethal velocity.
A bullet fragment was found inside the office.
The shot was fired shortly after 10 am, during a shoot-out
between two rival gangs on nearby St Paul Street.
Ministry employees witnessed a gang member shooting wildly
into the air during the melee.
The source said the bullet hole was discovered after employees
investigated noises coming from Leacocks empty office.
Ministry of Trade and Industry communications specialist Tanya
Carr said the incident shocked the buildings employees,
but added that the situation was handled quickly and professionally
by the police.
The effects of the shoot-out were also felt a stones
throw away, where Bethlehem Boys and Girls RC
Schools were both shut down shortly after midday.
Parents were advised to pick up their children from school
because of the incident.
Sources said the shoot-out was heard clearly in the schools,
and that many of the young children were crying in fear.
The children are frequently exposed to violence in the area,
but have never grown accustomed to it, the source explained.
Teachers at the school are calling for assistance and counselling
from the Ministry of Education, and want police protection
for students as they leave the school on afternoons.