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article imageAfrican cabbie's 'voodoo' averted New Jersey school shooting

By JohnThomas Didymus     Dec 1, 2012 in Crime
Trenton - A New Jersey cabbie, an immigrant from West Africa, helped to avert a high school shooting by convincing his teenage passenger armed with a gun that he has "voodoo medicine" that could make him vanish and help wreak vengeance on his school opponents.
While the angry, wild-eyed youth waited for the voodoo medicine, the cabbie called the police.
According to ABC News, the cabbie's call to the police led to a lockdown at Trenton Central High School with 2,100 student on Thursday. Classroom lights were turned off and doors closed while alert officers monitored the hallways on the lookout for a potential gun man.
According to the Principal Marc Maurice: "The students, teachers, and school security were all very calm and everyone felt safe in the building. There were police officers every 50 feet."
Police found the suspect about 3:30 p.m., unarmed. ABC News reports police are withholding the suspect's identity because he is a minor. However, he faces juvenile charges for unlawful possession of a shotgun and drug offenses.
The African cabbie, who wanted anonymity for his safety, said he picked up the teenager outside the school, around 11 a.m. Thursday. He said: "He asked me to take him to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Trenton (the student's home) and that this would be a roundtrip back to the school."
The driver said that when the student returned to the car after stopping at his home, he sat next to the driver's seat and brandished a silver pistol, saying he was going to kill his classmates because they tried to kill him at the cafeteria.
According to the cabbie, the boy looked agitated with bloodshot eyes and was shaking. He pointed the gun at the cabbie's stomach. The cabbie, an immigrant from the West African country of Liberia that saw 14 years civil war, said he tried to calm the boy down. He said: "I told him that I knew how he felt, that I was once in his place, a former rebel in my West African country. I convinced him that he should wait until 3 p.m. to go to the school because I could get some medicine for him to make him disappear."
The cabbie said the boy might have believed him because he spoke with a strong African accent. He continued: "I dropped him off at an address on Adeline Street and gave him a wrong number to call when he was ready. Then I called my cab company and they called the police."
Police say they have confirmed the driver's identity and his story. Lt. Steve Varn, of the Trenton Police Department, said the teenager is being held in the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center. He said: "I commend the cab driver for calling police. He absolutely played a significant part in averting the possibility of a tragic incident."
Principal Maurice said the boy is a "troubled child" with a very difficult history. He said: "He was on our list to be transferred to a smaller institution. We were very supportive of him and at this new school, additional services would have been provided based on his special needs."
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