Hundreds of terrified students fled to the auditorium of St Jago High School in Rivoli, St Catherine and hunkered down in fear as shots rang out before 11 am on Thursday.

“All we know is that there are armed men on the compound and gunshots are being fired, the students are huddled down in the auditorium, we are scared, the teachers are trying to get all the students to safety,” a student told a Loop Jamaica reporter a short time ago.

Superintendent Beau Rigby, who is in charge of the volatile St Catherine North division, where the school is located, said criminal elements were reportedly on the compound.

“We can’t confirm that now, but we understand that there are criminal elements on the compound, but we can’t confirm any shots,” Rigby said.

It’s not the first time St Jago students have had to flee for their safety amid gunshots. In 2011, a gunfight between hoodlums and police spilled on to the school compound