The staff and students of Thompson Town High School in north central Clarendon have been plunged into mourning following the shooting death of one of its teachers over the weekend.
The deceased, who has been described as “hardworking and kind”, has been identified as Ryan Brown, a science teacher of a Thompson Town address.
Reports are that on Friday, May 1, Brown left home for an undisclosed location in the parish.
Further reports are that sometime after 4pm, explosions were heard in a section of the Four Paths community, also in Clarendon, and residents there subsequently alerted the police.
On their arrival, the police found Brown’s body lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head.
He was pronounced dead at hospital.
On Monday, Thompson Town High School, through its Facebook page, revealed the news of the educator’s death.
“In the midst of life there is death. It’s with tears and a heavy heart that Thompson Town High School posts this news. We have lost a past student who became a (teaching) colleague, Mr Ryan Brown,” the school’s Facebook post said.
The educational institution described Brown as one of its greatest success stories, adding that he was, among other things, kind and determined.
“You were a kind, hardworking and determined young man. You are one of our greatest success stories. We will sincerely miss you, and we pray that those who took your life, that God will fight them for us.
“We express our condolences to his family and friends. Sleep in peace, Mr Brown, aka ‘Clark’s Man’,” the school posted.
The post received 298 comments up to Wednesday, with several individuals expressing their condolences to both the institution and Brown’s family.
“RIP Mr (Ryan) Brown; my grandson science teacher, my neighbour’s brother and my friend’s son… My condolences to all the family members,” wrote one Facebook user.
“Not in this global pandemic. What happen to these heartless people? RIP brother,” commented another social media user.
“We continue to lose our colleague educators to violence. When will we be able to break the cycle? The Glenmuir High School’s family conveys sincere condolences to you and his family. May God grant him eternal peace,” added another individual.
One social media user appealed to the family members not to allow sorrow to drown out the precious memories they have of Brown during his lifetime.
“It’s never easy losing a loved one. Can’t say I know what you are feeling. But I give my sincere sympathy to the family and love ones.
“However, while you grieve, please do not allow the sorrow to drown out the love, happiness and joy you all shared with him, and the precious gift he was to you, and that God lent him to you for the time you all spent together,” said the female social media user.
“Let his memories live on in your hearts as the treasure he was, being a part of your lives. God knows best. Blessed love,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Clarendon police have launched a probe into the fatal shooting incident.
Brown is the second educator to be slain locally within only weeks. On April 9, Excelsior High School Vice-Principal, Colleen Walker, was shot by a lone gunman at her Queensbury, St Andrew home.
The police reported that Walker was at her home tending to her garden, when a man approached her and engaged her in a brief conversation. The man reportedly walked off a short distance before returning and opening fire, hitting the school teacher, who later succumbed to her injuries.
Walker had been a vice-principal at the Mountain View Avenue-based institution in St Andrew for some 12 years, and was hailed as a dedicated educator by her peers both before and after the tragedy.