Education officials are reaching out to Guam Police Department following a second incident this week of gunshots heard near a Hågat public school, leading to lockdown measures to ensure students and staff are safe.
Around noon Wednesday, several employees at Marcial A. Sablan Elementary School heard gunshots. In an abundance of caution, the school immediately initiated a lockdown, according to a release from the Guam Department of Education.
The Guam Police Department gave the all-clear after conducting an assessment of the school campus and surrounding areas. At 1:08 p.m., GDOE lifted the lockdown.
Sgt. Paul Tapao confirmed on Wednesday that GPD is looking into the reported gun shots near the school, having been at the school twice this week for the same concern.
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez praised the principal of the elementary school for her actions in keeping students safe as police secured the area. Fernandez noted the area around elementary school, as well as Oceanview Middle School, are known to be frequented by hunters.
"We get these reports of shots being fired and some of them are from hunters in the area, and that's typically the story from prior years,” Fernandez said.
On Monday, at approximately 1:52 p.m., gunshots were heard around the same campus. The school initiated a lockdown that was lifted at 2:26 p.m.
“Having this happen two days in a row of course is more concerning ... we're not quite sure where Monday’s shots were fired from. We don't have any verification whether it was hunters or not, and now, you have a second incident."
If the gunshots were from hunters, Fernandez said, they're encouraged to “stay away from school sites.”
“It's highly disruptive to our teachers, our staff and our students, not just disruptive because the cause of a lot of fear, anxiety and stress, and that's definitely not something that we need. We're trying to deal with COVID-19 already,” Fernandez said