HAVERHILL — Police said a 16-year-old boy they arrested after he was seen carrying a gun late Monday morning at Haverhill High School was charged with a crime and was subsequently transported to Lawrence juvenile court for arraignment.
Police did not say what charges the boy faces. Information about juvenile arraignments is generally not available to the public or the media.
According to a statement issued Monday afternoon by Police Capt. Robert Pistone, around 10:40 a.m. police responded to the high school for a report of a summer-school student who had fled the property when approached by school security in regards to a report that he may have been in possession of a gun.
Police said they searched the surrounding neighborhood for the boy and found him a short time later in the 200-block area of Broadway.
Police arrested the boy without incident.
Pistone said that with the assistance of K9 mutual-aid from the state police and surrounding communities, Haverhill police continued to search the area for any evidence that the suspect may have discarded.
"At the time of this release, no firearm has been located," Pistone said.
He said the boy was booked at the Haverhill police station and transported to Lawrence juvenile court for arraignment. He did not state what the boy was charged with.
In response to the incident, School Superintendent Margaret Marotta issued a statement indicating the high school instituted a supervised and controlled dismissal, with no students being allowed outside the building and increased adult and police presence at the school and on the school grounds.
Marotta said the school department is fully investigating the situation and is cooperating with Haverhill police in piecing all the facts together.
"We commend those involved for their quick relay of information so that the proper individuals could be notified and act on this incident," she said.
Counselors and administration will be available to students and families Tuesday morning. There will be a police presence at the school for added security, according to a letter sent out by Marotta. The school will continue a controlled drop off and pick up as the investigation into this situation continues.
"The safety of our students is of paramount importance, we will continue working with police and other authorities to assure that our schools are safe," Marotta said in a statement.
Marotta told The Eagle-Tribune that 400 to 500 students are attending various programs at the high school this summer, including credit recovery, special education, the Discovery Club and the recreation department's summer camp.
She would not say what program the boy was attending.
High school Principal Glenn Burns said the incident was reported as certain classes were about to change rooms.
"We are still investigating, but there were multiple reports coming in simultaneously," he said. "I was notified by a staff member and also our security guards became aware of the situation."
Marotta said that although having a weapon is in itself a threat, there was no direct threat to other students by this student and that the weapon was discovered "incidentally."
"We didn't get to speak with the student as the police apprehended him and now it's a police matter," Burns said. "Police told us they would keep us in the loop."
School department spokesman Shawn Regan said that after the boy left the school, a security guard spotted him outside the building with a gun.
"Police believe the boy disposed of the gun, prior to his being arrested," he said.
Marotta said that out of an abundance for caution, police swept the school but found no weapon.
"We have every reason to believe summer school will occur tomorrow (Tuesday) and we'll have staff available to speak with students and families who are concerned," Marotta said.
Anyone with information, or who may have witnessed a crime related to this the juvenile running from the scene, is asked to contact police at 978-373-1212 or leave an anonymous tip by following the prompts.