EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 21, 2012

Shattered by 'sick prank'

Police ride city school buses in wake of BB shootings

HAVERHILL — This morning, police officers rode on school buses and followed behind in cruisers to protect students on their way to school, after someone shot BBs at two school buses yesterday.

The shots shattering windows and sprayed glass onto young children and teens.

Police said students on the two buses could have been shot in the eye or side of the head and seriously injured.

At a press conference last night, police said they believe the BBs were fired by the same person, possibly in a vehicle that drove past the buses. Police said video footage obtained by one of the school buses may provide a description of the shooter.

“This makes people very unsettled and rightfully so in light of last Friday’s horrific tragedy in Connecticut,” said Superintendent James Scully, referring to the shootings that killed 20 young children at a school in Newtown, Conn. “Although these random acts are very difficult to prevent, we want people to know that children have our full attention and we will keep everyone as safe as we possibly can.”

Yesterday’s incidents came less than a week after the massacre at Newtown. Authorities said that on Friday of last week, 20-year-old Adam Lanza gunned down 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza, formerly of Kingston, then shot and killed himself, police said.

“If this was some sort of prank, it’s certainly a sick joke, a sick prank in light of what’s happened,” Haverhill police Lt. Robert Pistone said of yesterday’s BB shootings. “These children could have been seriously injured had they been hit in the eye or in the side of the head. Luckily, on both of these occasions, the shot went above the children’s head. However, on both of these occasions there were children sitting in seats where the window was shattered and they did have glass that did fall on top of them.”

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