HAVERHILL — School officials said a 16-year-old boy attending a summer program at Haverhill High School was seen carrying a gun late Monday morning before leaving the campus. Police arrested the boy a short time later.

"This student ran but was quickly apprehended, however, it is believed that the weapon was dropped off campus," school Superintendent Margaret Marotta said in a press release. "We 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.

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 said she would not identify what program the boy was attending.

High school Principal Glenn Burns said the incident was reported about 11 a.m., 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 spotting him outside the building with a gun.

"The boy was subsequently arrested on Broadway," Regan said. "Police believe the boy disposed of the gun, prior to his being arrested."

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.

Recommended for you