Jamaica High School was locked down Thursday afternoon when two students wearing ski masks were mistaken for intruders, officials said
A lockdown was announced around 1 p.m. on suspicion that intruders got into the school. The masked intruders turned out to be two students who entered through a side door, spooking the principal who saw them through a video monitor, according to education and police officials. After a search, the students were found and the lockdown was lifted, the official said.
"It turned out it was students trying to get back into school unnoticed," said NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill. "They knew there were video cameras and they didn't want to be ID'd."
"They skipped out on school and they were trying to work their way back into the school. Not a major incident," O'Neill added.
Jabari Corsfield, a 17-year-old senior from Ozone Park, said he was in the hallway heading to the auditorium to work on the sound for a Christmas concert when the soft lockdown was sent over the PA system.
"We've done drills before, so we were prepared," he said.
He went to the auditorium where students were held in the backstage rehearsal rooms for roughly two hours.
"The principal came in and said this is not a drill," he said.
Another student said others in her Spanish class were startled when they realized the announcement was not a call for another drill.
"They kept on repeating it, 'Stay in your classroom,'" she said. "My teacher started worrying."