EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

December 21, 2012

Shattered by 'sick prank'

Police ride city school buses in wake of BB shootings

(Continued)

Scully sent an automated phone message to about 10,000 parents after the shootings to advise them about the incidents and tell them the children were safe.

The first incident happened on a Head Start bus yesterday morning about 11:30 a.m. in the area of Main and Marshland streets. Pistone said there were 3- and 4-year-olds on the bus. After the first incident was reported, police stepped up their patrols of school bus routes and were “actively looking” for a suspect, Pistone said.

The second incident happened about 2:30 p.m. at Winter and Hale streets. School officials said in that incident the bus, which students pay $1 a day to ride, was bringing students home from Haverhill High School and was traveling up Winter Street when it was struck by a BB. One student received a minor injury when brushing off pieces of glass that fell onto her and she sustained a small cut on her knuckle, police said.

Pistone said that in each case, the windows that were shot at were on the driver’s side of the buses and hit windows next to children. Pistone said a BB was found on the bus carrying the high school students. Pistone said those responsible will be charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. Haverhill police detectives John Moses and Carl Rogers are investigating both incidents. No arrests had been made as of last night, police said. Police ask that anyone with information on the shootings call the police station at 978-373-1212.

Following the first incident yesterday morning, police increased patrols of bus routes and had officers riding on buses. Pistone said extra patrols of bus routes will be in place today, along with officers riding on school buses.

John Cuneo, director of Community Action Inc., which runs the Head Start program in Haverhill, said about 35 children ages 3 and 4 were riding the Coppola company bus involved in the morning shooting. Cuneo said there were four or five children seated close to the window that was shot.

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