Miami/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 24, 2024
Gunfire at Suncoast High, Cop Opens Fire on Assailant in School Ground ShowdownSource: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Chaos erupted at Suncoast Community High School in Riviera Beach on Monday morning when a local police officer was assaulted and subsequently opened fire on the assailant on school grounds. Officer Nadane Cherisma, who was working extra detail for the school district police, encountered Delroy Thomas, 29, while monitoring the campus entrance.

Officer Cherisma called for assistance over her radio upon spotting Thomas entering the gate unauthorized. The situation escalated rapidly when Thomas, for reasons still unclear, attacked the officer. Witness statements corroborated the law enforcement narrative, with a parent describing the altercation as Thomas being "the aggressor" and Cherisma "struggling" to defend herself, according to an arrest report obtained by WPTV.

During the "tussling," according to CBS12  the officer was "forced to use deadly force to stop the immediate threat to herself and any possible threat to the students and staff on campus," resulting in Thomas sustaining two gunshot wounds. He was transported to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach and was reported to be in a stable condition.

Following standard procedure, Officer Cherisma has been temporarily relieved of her duties pending the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's investigation into the shooting. Meanwhile, Delroy Thomas, who has a history of confrontations with the law, was charged with battery against law enforcement, trespassing, and disrupting school functions. Besides the altercation with Cherisma, Thomas has previously faced charges stemming back to 2014, including resisting an officer and trespassing at hospitals, as per CBS12.

The incident sent Suncoast Community High School into a lockdown, causing considerable disruption. Students already on campus were sheltered in their classrooms, and the school remained under a Code Yellow for most of the day, which restricted movement but allowed classes to continue. In response to the traumatic event, Suncoast High School has offered counseling services and therapy dogs to anyone in need, a senior student recalling to CBS12 the urgency in her teacher's voice as the Code Red announcement was made, emphasizing the fear it induced.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies