A scene of murder outside St Alban’s Primary School
Students and staff of the St Alban’s Primary School will not soon forget the sound of multiple gunshots from a shooting which resulted in the death of a parent.
On Thursday January 16, around 8.10 am, Marlon Holder was shot and killed just outside the school's main entrance. The gunman opened fire while Holder was in the driver's seat of the car and there were also three other occupants - the son, a female student in the back seat and a female in the front passenger seat.
The school was a scene of chaos as, on the outside, parents dropping students off, vendors plying their trade, school security and neighbours ran for cover while the gunman carried out the bold daylight murder.
On the inside of the school, teachers and students hid in classrooms, unsure of what direction the shots were fired from. Some teachers huddled students together, others were told to get low and calls immediately went out to law enforcement for assistance.
Screaming, crying students and shouts of a little boy saying “I want my Daddy” pierced the Weston, St James air. When the pandemonium settled, Holder lay dead in the road.
Parent of a St Alban’s student, Alvin Morris spoke briefly to Loop News when he arrived at the school to collect his 10-year-old daughter. He told reporters it was unfortunate that the incident occurred in view of the children.
“I feel really sad to know it happen in front of the children. It really sad. I was at work and I got a call from her teacher telling me they had an incident at the school and they asked the parents to come and collect.
I got a call from my mother later on and she told me it was a shooting. She told me she thinks someone died on the scene. This came as kind of a surprise. I know the nieghbourhood does got its up and downs but this is a surprise.”
Morris’ daughter, still visibly rattled by the morning’s events, told reporters what she remembered.
“I heard gunshots, about five. We stayed upstairs and teacher shut the door. Teacher said to don’t move that she is going to call the police.”
Members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) continued investigations into Barbados' second murder for 2020 well into the afternoon. Officers kept the area tightly cordoned off as they combed the school compound and neighbours’ yard for evidence.
Most students had been collected by 11 am, while senior officials from the Ministry of Education met with the Principal and staff. During the meeting, some staff members were seen crying and had to be consoled by colleagues.
Classes have been suspended and the Ministry has set up counseling services for staff and students at the school.