Gunfire exchanged outside of building, school placed on lockdown

Jackson-Reed High School was placed under precautionary lockdown on Friday, November 18 after shots were fired outside of the school around 2:45 p.m. 

DC Police Commander Duncan Bedlion said that the 2nd Police District received calls and quickly responded to the incident. The gunshots are believed to have come from the 3900 block of Chesapeake Street NW, just outside of Jackson-Reed. Cmdr. Bedlion said that there was at least one individual firing a gun who was reported to have quickly entered a vehicle with multiple others and left the scene. There are no reports of any victims being harmed by gunfire.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we went into lockdown status,” Principal Sah Brown said in an email to the Jackson-Reed community. “During lockdown status, all exterior doors are locked, and entering or exiting the building is not permitted until the all-clear is given.” 

“Additionally, movement throughout our school building was prohibited, and all outdoor activities were paused,” Brown said. “Please be assured students and staff remained safe and accounted for during this time, and no students or staff were injured in this incident.”

According to Brown’s email, student dismissal and operations were delayed until an “all-clear” was given at 3:49 p.m. Dismissal was staggered by floor and occurred through the rear of the school building, near the stadium. After school activities proceeded normally following dismissal.

“I want to acknowledge that incidents like these can cause anxiety and stress for both students and families,” Brown said. 

Nearby schools, including Alice Deal Middle School, Murch Elementary School, and Lafayette Elementary School were placed on alert status. 

Jackson-Reed conducted a lockdown drill on Wednesday, November 16. DCPS requires schools to conduct two lockdown drills per year. 

This story will be updated.