Two Suspects Arrested, 3rd On The Run After Theft Forced School Lockdown
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South Florida Crime
LEISURE CITY (CBSMiami) – Eleven-year-old Joshua Molina says he was terrified that three suspects who barged into his school while eluding police would burst into his classroom and harm him and his friends.
“I was scared, that’s all,” the 6th grade student at the Leisure City K-8 Center said. “I didn’t know what would happen. I thought they would come into my room. I was thinking what would my parents do?”
“I think as long as I’m safe and the people around me are safe,” he told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I thought that is ok. But I saw helicopters flying around everywhere. I thought this was going to be a normal school day for me. But it changed.”
“I was so scared that I was losing my mind. My legs, I was sweating. I had a tear right here,” he said, pointing to his face.
The K-8 Center and the nearby Lincoln Martin School were placed on lockdown and police were called when the three suspects jumped out of the U-Haul van that they had parked at the school and ran inside it.
Police say they never entered any classroom and no child was hurt but students were scared.
“The teacher I had, she told me nothing was going to happen. She told me they will have to go through me first,” said Molina.
Luis Harambourne, a 7th grader, said, “They shut the lights out during the lockdown. We went by our computers. We went down like this.”
His brother, 6th grader Michael Harambourne, said, “I was scared and nervous. I was worried that they would shoot somebody.”
Some students and worried parents who showed up at the school had heard that the suspects had at least one weapon with them.
Kaisha Ayala said, “I saw the police helicopter and saw all of this activity and I rushed here to the school. I just want my 5-year-old daughter who’s in the school. I am so worried about her.”
“I am worried about my two 8-year-old twins,” said Esther Cotarello. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
Homestead Police Detective Fernando Morales said it appeared the two arrested suspects did not have a weapon. It is unclear if the 3rd suspect who escaped had a gun.
Two suspects were arrested at the school. They were identified as 24-year-old Carlton Williams and 22-year-old Jamal Brown.
Police say they will face a number of charges including eluding police and burglary to the school.
Parents were relieved that the suspects were arrested.
“Of course I was scared,” said Misty Delling, the mother of Luis and Michael Haramboure. “That’s because you hear what’s happening on the news, with all the school shootings and I was just worried about the kids. I am glad they are safe.”
As 8th grader Blanca Carrada left the K-8 Center with her brother, she said, “I was scared a little. Now it’s good that they are all gone.”
Police say the story started when they received a call about a possible burglary in Southwest Miami-Dade.
They say it turns out the men were trying to deliver some lawn equipment that had been stolen in Homestead.
“I’m always relieved when we are able to deal with these situations so effectively and all of the procedures are followed so well,” said Sgt. Ivan Silva of Miami-Dade Schools Police.
Detective Morales said, “This was an excellent example of what can happen when all of the police agencies work together so effectively.”